True misbehavior occurs when a child chooses to behave inappropriately. Before you take action, ask yourself the following questions:
l. Is the child doing something truly wrong? Is there a real problem here or are you just tired and out of patience?
* If there is no real problem, release your stress away from the child.
* If there is a problem, see #2.
2. Think for a moment. Is the child really capable of doing what you expect here?
* If you are not being fair, re-evaluate your expectations.
* If your expectations are fair, see #3.
3. Did the child know at the time that he/she were doing something wrong?
* If the child did not realize he/she was doing something wrong, help them understand what you expect, why, and how they can do that. Offer to help them.
* If the child knew what he/she was doing was wrong and they deliberately disregarded a reasonable expectation, then that child misbehaved.
If the behavior was an accident, like wetting pants while sleeping, it was not misbehavior. If the behavior was not an accident, ask the child to tell you the reasons he/she had for doing what they did. Listen carefully and assess before you respond.
The most important factor that determines children’s success in life is how they see themselves. Do they see themselves as learners? Do they see themselves as being loveable and capable? Each day brings new experiences that have the potential for either building or destroying their self-concept.
Every time we give a child an order we are sending him/her a powerful message that says, “You can’t think for yourself; I’ve got to think for you.” Children look for confirmation of what kind of person they are. At a very early age they begin to look for things within themselves to prove that mom or dad is right.
*If it’s possible to program children for failure, it’s equally possible (and preferable) for us to program them for success.