Now the question is, Is it even possible to stay calm in the face of a misbehaving child? How do you not lose it? In recent times, globally there has been a lot of rancor about people not being able to manage their emotions. I realized that this is the same thing that happened when we start to parent. Parenting is an emotional journey, It takes you to the point where you\’re very frustrated with some of these misbehaviors.
Staying calm in the face of chaos is a skill, it is not a prayer point. A lot of religious people will fight it but trust me it\’s a skill that you need to learn.
Like I always tell the parents in the inner circle, you can join the inner circle here, “miracles don\’t come from just believing, Miracles come from doing and that is why it says that faith without works is dead. What exactly are you doing? that is the question. Somebody reached out to me today and said she had to hit her child and there was blood all over. She said, “I felt bad however, I can\’t help myself”. she said she has prayed about it but it\’s not working. No, you haven\’t done what you\’re supposed to do.
When people tell me, I want to really parent with calm, what I get is, “I am wishing it, I am not ready to work it”. Many times, we are just in a place where we are wishing to win. We are not in the place where we are putting in the work. And until you get to that point where you tell yourself that this is work that needs to be done, then nothing really changes. So parenting with peace and calm is a skill. Can you look at your child who is misbehaving and stay calm? How possible is that? Yes extremely possible.
However, you cannot do it without the right set of skills. The parents in the inner circle would say before I joined the inner circle, some of the things that the coach share on Tuesday live, I used to think she was kidding us, but by the time I spent a few weeks to months, I have come to realize that there are things you need to do. There is a practice, there is what to do. The question is, are you really doing what it takes?
When a child is acting out, it could mean that the child is lost, afraid, in need of guidance, is seeking attention or the child lacks skill.
When we fight our children for doing things they do without teaching them any other way to do it, we are actually doing it the wrong way. So, the first thing you want to ask when a child is misbehaving is, why is my child misbehaving?
Is my child is lost?
He doesn’t know what to do?
Is he afraid?
He doesn\’t know how to react in these circumstances?
He needs me to help and guide him?
Is he seeking my attention?
Does he lack the possible skills that I am actually requesting from him to actually behave in that certain way?
Capacity is a big deal and that is one of the things that we must put in perspective when we are raising our children. Your child acting out doesn’t mean that he is a bad child. A misbehaving child is not a bad child. There is no such thing as a bad child. We need to get this and we need to actually internalize it. A misbehaving child is not a bad child. it is just because the child is still learning, the child is still growing. So, misbehavior is part of the process. If your child doesn\’t misbehave, how do you know what you\’re teaching? The misbehavior points the parent in the direction to go in directing the child.
Over the years, after getting into helping parents and children walk through the systems of parenting, I have come to realize that it is just us. When a child misbehaves and many of the times we resort to screaming out, this isn\’t the solution.
You cannot just wake up and decide that I am not going to yell again, I am not going to hit the child again, and then it happens. No. it is not going to happen that way. Because you have a template in your system that has been sold to you. You are operating based on what you know. You are a product of your experience and a product of your knowledge. You\’re going to react to issues according to what you know. You\’re going to react to issues where your experience is stopped. You\’re going to react to issues where your knowledge particularly stopped.
What are the things that you can do, what are the things you need to understand when we talk about staying calm in the face of chaos being a skill? What must you understand as a parent to help you stay calm?
- Discipline Is Not An Emergency: I am sure a few people like the parents in the academy (you can join the academy here ) must have heard me say that discipline is not an emergency. Well, they were privileged to review my book, the discipline that works in the academy and I remember re-emphasizing that discipline is not an emergency. What makes discipline an emergency most of the time for you is, what the next person will think, and what if I don\’t address this thing now and my child becomes useless tomorrow?
Discipline is not an emergency, provided your child is safe you must understand that everything is not about violence. When you make discipline and emergency, you actually take away the essence to be able to help your child at that moment. So being able to help your child in the face of misbehavior, is one of the things that you must put at the back of your mind. The aim is not to punish a child for misbehaving, the aim is to teach a child how to behave better. The aim of discipline is not to punish, so you need to learn to take a moment to pause. Plan how you would respond is very important.
When a child is misbehaving, one of the first things that you need to look out for is, how am I going to respond? What am I going to do? So when you fail to pause, you find yourself reacting or having to double your efforts to reconnect. When you choose to pause, you may believe that you\’re doing nothing but trust me, the power of that initial nothing, is the road to a karma response and an emotionally responsible child. Remember that the aim is to raise a child who will become emotionally responsible afterward. Is your child emotionally responsible? How can a child be emotionally responsible if you are not emotionally responsible? So that is the main thing. You need to show your ability to respond emotionally to actually be able to help your child. So while you are pausing, you can ask the following questions to help you;
● What guidance can I offer my child?
● How can we both benefit from this moment?
● How does my child need to get back on track or what can I do to help my child to get back on track?
2.Believe That Your Child Can Do Better: There is something that we call self-fulfilling prophecies, you need to be careful what you say in the face of misbehavior. Many of the times I have found that when a child is misbehaving, that is when parents go off, they say all sorts of things, that is when you lose it. that is when they just go crazy.
Do you have faith enough, that no matter how many mistakes your child makes, he\’s worthy of learning from your guidance? That is the first thing you need to tell yourself. No matter how many mistakes my child will be making, I am sure that my child will benefit from my guidance. Do you believe your guidance will work? When children misbehave, it is usually because they are stuck. So, when misbehavior shows up is because your child doesn\’t know any other way of letting you know that they are afraid, that they are hurting, that they are upset. Let your child know you believe they can do better.
So instead of a child who is misbehaving, you saying “I know that you will never ever listen to me”, instead of saying that why not say” I know that you can do better and I know that if you actually take these things the way I say it, you will be able to change a lot of things”. Be careful of what you say in the face of misbehavior. “My child is always stealing, lying…all of those things are key to our process.
3. Build skills: An unskilled child will frustrate you, there are seven essential life skills that you need to build in your child to actually be able to tackle these behaviors. Without building those skills your child will continually make those errors and it will not be a result of the child being a bad child. It will just be a result of a parent who is ignorant of what to do. So you need to incorporate these skills into your daily routines. Part of what we do in the inner circle is to help you incorporate some of these skills that we are sharing with you right in our daily routine. We have what we call the connection calendar and inside that connection calendar, it is a curriculum that has been built in a way that all of these seven skills I am gonna be sharing with you are actually being practiced every day. (You can join the inner circle here)
●Focus and self-control. Children thrive on schedules, habits, and routines. Any child that you put unpredictability in their system, you are going to “kill them” because that is how people thrive. Children thrive in predictability. Predictability is a key skill in your parenting. So focus and self-control in one of those conversations in the inner circle. We shared how to teach your child self-regulation which is part of its focus on self-control.
● Perspective-taking: Thinking about another point of view. A lot of the time because of the way we are raising our children, they cannot learn because we parent in such a way that we are focused on just how a straightway. there is no other thing to actually help our children think again. So perspective-taking is a skill but our parents and our daily routine don\’t give our children the opportunity to thrive or get this skill. So what does perspective-taking do: it helps you to see another point of view, to have meaningful conversations. Your children will never learn perspective thinking if you\’re parenting that way because your child learns all of these things. These things are not learned in school. They are learned in the home and we must understand that.
● Communication: Communication is one skill that you need to teach your child to be able to avoid all these misbehaviors. I have found that a lot of homes are about criticism, instructions, controls, and judgment, yellings, there are no conversations, there are no connections, there are no collaborations. If your home lacked these three C\’s your home is in trouble. Stand up today, connection, communication, collaboration. These are the three C’s on communication, and that is why intentional parenting, one of our core is connection. Connection is a key tool for us. How do we actually teach our children communication? I found that many of us cannot have valuable communication because we were not taught communication at home. There was never communication. that is why when I see how people argue online, the moment There is a diverse opinion, so perspective-taking is why a lot of us do not have that skill of being able to look at things from another person\’s perspective and this is also part of the conversion processes. But we are not taught conversations at home.
● Critical Thinking Skills: Many of our children cannot think? The only thing that we do is that we teach our children how to pass exams and that is not parenting. When all your child does is to be able to go and just pass the exam they can\’t think through their process. There is something wrong with that parenting.
● Resilience: Resilience is a very key skill in our parenting journey. Resilience is our ability to build the adversity quotient. Do you know why in Nigeria we use the quote this life is no balance? The reason is simple, while some people can be very resilient in the face of adversity, some can. that is it and that is why there is no balance. So if your child will learn to work, if you would learn to teach a child how to improve the adversity quotient then you\’re going to have a child with very minimal misbehaviors. So ability to build adversity quotient. Taking on challenges. I was sharing with the parents in the inner circle, one of those days and I said to them that struggling is part of learning.
4. Allow your children to struggle. A child who does not learn how to struggle is bound to fail. Allow your child to struggle. The struggle is a gift. We call it the gift of struggle. Your child is falling. You are constantly helping your child come up. The gift of struggle is a big deal. You need to teach your child that struggle is nothing but instead of allowing them to struggle, I see a lot of parents, your child does something, you jump up and down you, take the kid, you beat the child but yet your child can\’t struggle. Your child does or does not have all of these skills that we are reading here.
● Self-Directness: Our children must be self-directed and engage in learning. Many of our children are not self-directed. We are still the ones directing them. we are still the ones telling them what to do. we are still the ones putting everything together. it is still us. we are still the ones trying to do everything for them. There is no self-direction because we are parenting in such a way that everything is about us. You can\’t let your child have to make decisions, you cannot allow them to put things in place. Everything is about you. You\’re constantly making decisions for your children. There is something wrong with that. So you need to understand that part of your parenting and also deal with it.
● Engaged learning: Engaged learning is another concept many of our children don\’t know how to learn. All we do is that we are raising children who just pass exams. The moment they are done with school, they don\’t want to learn. That is why a lot of us also are not interested in learning. We have all gone to school and some of us made 2:1, 1:1 and some of them made different kinds of grades in classes but we come out and we are not interested in learning. The joy of learning is not there. You were not taught that learning is a skill. If your child learns the skill of learning, you are on your way to minimizing misbehaviors. There are learning skills and without them, your child will continue to struggle these skills can be developed through intentional activities, which is one of the key things that we do in the inner circle.
4. Build on your emotions and quit yelling: Now in the month of April in the academy, we are going to be facing yelling, where we are going to be introducing our no yelling challenge and we are going to be talking about yelling a lot. (Join our waitlist here for the no yelling challenge so you are informed when early-bird registration starts)
One of the things that a lot of parents do not understand is that yelling can actually shut down the brain of a child and stop them from learning. So you need to understand that you need to work on your emotions. Now we say, stay calm in the face of chaos, but the truth of the matter is that, if you cannot control your emotions, you would not be able to actually give this calmness that we are talking about, you can\’t do it and again it is not a prayer point. it is a knowledge point. Take it from me. You need knowledge to actually be able to practice this particular skill. I have been there where I thought it was prayer and trust me you need to actually walkthrough.
Do you want to join the next cohort of Parents in the INNER CIRCLE PROGRAM? We are having an upward Fee Review this year but those who already booked slots for the inner circle program NOW won’t be affected.
The current annual Fee is 50,000/annum for now but reviewed Fee would be more ( not concluded yet) Book here: https://selar.co/tipinnercircle
The booking Fee is N5,000 Only