Keep the big picture

Having a bad patch with your child’s behaviour? Take a step back and get the wider view. A great phrase to remember is. “A child who feels right, acts right”. All children throw up a bit of spontaneous mischief but if you are getting consistently unpleasant, difficult behaviour, remind yourself: “A child who feels right, acts right. My child isn’t acting right, so why aren’t they feeling right?”. Is this behaviour a symptom of not enough time and attention? Is there some disruption in their life? Are they having enough sleep and fun? Is there some unhealthy influence from a friend?  You don’t ignore the misbehaviour – you deal with it appropriately – but try and get the big picture of underlying causes. Often the key to the current turmoil will very readily come to your mind, sometimes it might need a bit more digging.

Give your kids the big picture, too. When the sparks have stopped flying after a disagreement or argument, let them know that you can see past this current situation: “You know, I had to tell you off just before, but, in general, your behaviour is getting really good. You’re growing up into such a great kid.”

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John Cowan

Writer, speaker and broadcaster, John Cowan shares his insight and opinions about the latest in parenting and family news in New Zealand. Hear John speak on radio stations every week throughout the country and regularly on national TV.  Follow @JohnCowanNZ on Twitter

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