Development Takes Time, Repetition & Relief

Developing maturity takes time, repetition and relief.

Time is necessary to allow a child's unique developmental path to unfold.  

Repetition happens when we practice moving through strong impulses and overwhelming emotions.

happens when we feel that we have the support and/or the tools to move through a situation. 

Punitive discipline provides none of those. Instead it strengthens connections to the lower brain centers - to the seat of survival where the tools are fight or flee.

Fighting is easy to see - aggression, hitting, screaming. Fleeing might look less obvious - defiance, resistance, ignoring your requests, forgetting things. 

These seem like behavior problems - but they are stress reaction
s. When we are unable to meet our needs, we use whatever coping mechanisms we have available.

Questions to remove from your language:

What did I just say?
How many times do I have to tell you?
What is your problem?
What were you thinking?
How could you be so fill-in-the-blank!

All of these questions are rhetorical, reactionary, non-productive and guaranteed to drive an emotional wedge between you and your child.

You don't really want an answer as much as you want to show your child how displeased you are.

So share that!
"I'm disappointed in this outcome.""I was hoping for something else.
"When you don't respond, I feel frustrated."
"I'm angry because I feel like I am responsible for everyone else."


Your displeasure comes from your view of the situation, and if it is clouded with the lens of unmet needs, fear, judgment and evaluation... then criticism and disconnection will soon follow.

These are habits that can be changed.

Your perspective is what you want it to be. You can see learning opportunities or you can see a defiant child.

From a developmental point of view - you can't rush maturity. From a relational view - your influence will be stronger if you get control of yourself.

If your child is age 0-5, his or her impulses are not well managed because the "thinking brain" that allows for planning, forethought and considering others is not fully online.

Will you see glimpses of maturity?
Yes, absolutely. But self-control is limited at best, nonexistent for most young kids, and an executive function skill that takes years to master.

If your child is 6-12, he or she still needs lots of support and practice. Resistance may be telling you that your child doesn't feel heard or respected, or that your child is in need of some skill development or stress-relief.

You can force compliance without looking deeper, but your problems and challenges will increase as your child becomes more autonomous.

If your child is a teenager, he or she relies on your opinion and recognition of the person s/he is becoming and the thoughts s/he is having. Punishments, judgments and evaluations will ensure that your child does not seek you out for advice and support.

When help hurts - a person will do anything to avoid it. You can try and run your house with demands and threats or you can learn to shift your focus to address the growth challenges in each stage. 

Humans can't be controlled.

Time-outs are ill-considered and developmentally speaking, pointless. Punishments increase negative feelings and promote resistance. 

Tweet: We're always more receptive others when we feel we have been heard & considered. @TEACHthruLove #TEACHableMomentsConsequences are natural, and your INFLUENCE is in the relationship.

So what do you want to work on? Behavior problems with punishing and fighting - or growth challenges with connection and compassion?

Change the way you speak and everything changes. 

What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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