Accepting negative behavior

It is never a good idea to accept negative behavior from an adult.  It can be a good idea with a child,  if you can work with the child to change it.  Even though it is true that you have no control over the adult or the child, the child is more malleable.  All the child is really doing is trying to get your attention and the normal, positive ways are not working.   The child either wants to spend more time with you or they are trying to tell you something is wrong in their world.  You are not paying attention.  A child does not instantly change from being a respectful, obedient child to a disrespectful, defiant child for no reason.  They either don’t care anymore because they feel you don’t, or something is not right with them and they don’t think they can tell you.  Either way, you need to pay attention to the negative behavior and try to figure out why it began to happen.  Asking them directly can have a positive response from them if all they want is attention.  The act of asking them will have a positive effect, you are paying attention them.  Continue to do so.  Make a schedule to spend time with them regularly and do not make promises that you have no intention of keeping.  They are not stupid, just children, and they will see through the broken promises.

If the negative behavior has to do with something they do not feel they can tell you, it is usually about something that is happening in their world.  Talk to them.  Find out.  It can be anything from them being bullied in school or on the bus to being molested.  There are a wide variety of things that can be happening in your child’s life that will need your attention.  Pay attention, get help, talk to the counselor at school, talk to a private therapist, talk to your child.  Sometimes it is easily resolved before it gets too big.  Sometimes it is not.  Don’t allow someone else to take charge of your child’s welfare, stay on top of it.  Be involved.  Teach your child how to defend themselves and that they can tell you anything.  Teach them that there are no conditions to your loving them.  That there is nothing they could tell you that would stop you from loving them.  Being a parent is not always fun, it is a challenge that requires your involvement.  Always.  It is a full time job all by itself.  Your children should be your first priority and deserve your attention.  They are too young and innocent to navigate this world by themselves.  That’s why they have parents.  After a busy day at work it is not easy, like so many other things in this world.  Relax, get rid of those things you have no control over and spend some fun time with you child before you no longer have them and they prefer their friends to you.  That will happen sooner then you think.  Enjoy!

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I became a therapist in an attempt to understand my own childhood and what happened there and how it made me who I am, exhibiting the behaviors that were not always positive, very often self-destructive. I used Art Therapy to help me understand things in my past that were stopping me from making better decisions in my present day. I used Behavioral Science to help me understand underlying causal factors, roots to the present day behaviors that I was seeing in myself. Both help me to change those behaviors/thoughts that were causing me to make self-destructive decisions that were causing pain in life. I have been a therapist since 1985 and have an undergraduate degree Art and behavioral science (double major) from the University of Maine. My graduate work was done at Marywood university and I have a degree in Art Therapy. I have certificates in Forensic Interviewing and Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavior therapy. I have 22 out of 30 credits toward a degree in Trauma Therapy from Drexel University. I started out as a Community Support Worker, Program Manager/Clinical Supervisor, Family therapist and Outpatient therapist.

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