Has your child ever tested your limits? Has your child ever said something mean to you or yelled? Has your child ever hurt your feelings? Its not your fault and its normal! Your child does not hate you or do it to hurt your feelings, rather they are trying to communicate something to you. All behavior is communication!
According to Michigan Alliance for Families, “Children sometimes have trouble communicating, because they may not be able to verbally describe the problem or know what to do in a situation. At these times, children may act out their feelings or needs. Children engage in challenging behavior for a reason. The purpose may be getting someone’s attention, stopping an activity they don’t like, or satisfying sensory needs — but there is always a reason behind the behavior.”
This does not mean the behavior is okay and should be allowed, but rather parents should work to understand the reasons behind the behavior and teach their child how to communicate appropriately. With modeling and support, your child can learn how to communicate their needs in an age appropriate way. In order to do this, be sure to take a breath, step away and tell yourself this is not personal. When you are calm, you will better be able to model and teach your child skills they can use for the rest of their life.
Written by Elizabeth Hamburger, MS, LMFT
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