Editor’s Pick. Written by Sam Vickery.
You know that feeling when you’re standing in the middle of the supermarket and your child picks that exact moment to have an almighty meltdown? Or when you have people visiting and your child decides that they don’t want to play with the visiting children, and a tussle breaks out?
There are moments in life that don’t always go as smoothly as planned, and these can be embarrassing and stressful for us as parents. We feel as if it is our job to put a stop to the socially frowned upon behaviour quickly, and resume the peace. But often this can lead us to gloss over the real need behind the behaviours. In an attempt to prevent a scene, parents use all the tricks to coerce their child in to following their instructions. They bribe and barter, they punish and threaten, or perhaps they simply whisper quietly and tell them “You’re okay,there’s no need to cry.”
Sometimes these tricks work, though often what materialises is an even bigger outburst, either there and then, or saved up ready to be released in an explosion at a later time. Why? Because that need, the one that caused the behaviour in the first place, is still lingering there, unmet under the surface, ready and waiting for it’s chance to make itself known.