The Key to Better Behavior (How to Build Connection!)

Kids get upset for all kinds of reasons, and rather than rationally and calmly discussing what's wrong or making new decisions, they often act out.

Sure, it's normal. Children are immature and unable to shift gears with the flexibility and emotional grace of adults, but that doesn't make it any easier to handle.

It can be exhausting and frustrating, leading us to angry outbursts and resistance from our kids. If you feel like you're in a downward spiral of negativity, connection is the key to better behavior. 

Connection begins with removing judgment and reframing behavior to look at it from a new view. When we evaluate our children's behavior and tell them:

  • how they have disappointed us
  • that they aren't being kind
  • that they need to do better

They come to associate what we say with their feelings of self-worth. The meaning they take away from our interactions is:

"I'm not good enough."

"I am bad."

"I mess up everything."

Judged kids make poor decision-makers. 

Confused by our criticism and impatience with their natural impulses, they grow more fearful of our reactions and less focused on how to change their behavior.

When kids step outside the boundaries, they lack skills, are overwhelmed with stress, or are emotionally disengaged. 

When you start listening to the message of behavior (not looking at what you see, but stepping into the experience your children are having) you can connect in ways that will help them regulate their emotions and strengthen their thinking skills.

Children's natural willingness to listen and cooperate increases with their sense of security and unconditional acceptance of who they are (regardless of what they do). 

Lots of parents (myself included) walk away from conflict thinking, "My child knows I love them, even when I'm angry or disappointed."

But, our love for them is exactly what most kids question when we allow our anger or judgment to interfere with our connection and leadership.

When we connect before we problem-solve and support children with compassionate limits, they learn to reflect on their actions without the fear of being blamed, shamed, judged or wracked with guilt. 

In this TEACHable Moments, I share some of my favorite ideas for building connection with your kids. Behavior is not something to be stopped - it is something to be understood. (TWEET IT!)

Behavior is a message about how we feel and what we need. Remembering this will make it easier for you to take a compassionate view.

These ideas can be adapted to your child’s unique stage of development. You might alter your language or adjust the level of discussion, but the path to building connection starts with an intention – not a one-size-fits-all list type of discipline.

You can change the way you think about and respond to behavior. But it takes a commitment and the support to try new things. 

You don't have to do it alone! Join us for my 10-day free online retreat, add your thoughts to our discussion in our Facebook group, or grab a friend and go for a cup of coffee

Listening to our kids is a lot easier when we have someone who listens to us. 

Thanks so much for reading, watching + sharing! Have a great week and please remember, it's about being conscious - not perfect!

Talk soon,


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