In this article, you will read about two different cases and how the families contributed to the development of their child’s negative and or positive behavior. These cases listed are true but the names have been changed. If you are currently facing conflict with a rebellious child, your first priority is to evaluate your contribution to the situation. The old saying “It takes two to tango is very true”. Please seriously evaluate how you are responding and communicating to your children, especially when you are:
- Dealing with aging parents
- Discipline your children
- Experiencing relationship problems
- Facing lack of support from a spouse
- Facing health issues
- Parenting young adults
- Single and facing issues alone
- Stressed over unemployment
- Stressful after work
- Struggling with finances
- Upset about various life issues
- Wrestling with your own needs
You get the big picture. Please read the following examples:
Family # 1: Embarrassing words hurt a child
A sixteen (16) year old teenager (Mark) was very angry with his father. The father never knew the extent of the hurt he had caused his son. Mark was experiencing great difficulties with his father. They would get into each other face, yell, push and hit. Mark sometimes would not speak to his father. The family sort counseling for Mark since he had an attitude and temper problem. The father was as stubborn as the son. They had no respect for each other. During an anger management session, Mark shared that when he was nine (9) years old his parents invited some friends for dinner. During dinner, the father jokingly asked Mark to say the word yellow because he would say Wella instead of yellow. The father thought it was funny but it was an embarrassment to the nine year old.
It is very important to understand the sensitivity of your child. Words can damage your child for a life time. Words are dangerous once spoken and you can’t take the words back. The problem was so bad the father and the son barely spoke or did anything together.
As Mark continued to experience problems with his father, he felt all alone. He had no one to talk to about his feelings and emotions. He said his mother thought his dad couldn’t do anything wrong so he couldn’t open up to her. He couldn’t wait until he turned 18 years old to get away from home. He felt so much hopelessness and despair which translated into problems in school. As a result of the anger management sessions, the father was informed about the pain and embarrassment he unintentional inflicted upon his son. After informing the dad, he missed an opportunity to communicate these words “Son, I apologize for hurting you. I never knew I had hurt you so deeply. I love you very much. We can work through our problems.” The father didn’t take ownership of the wrong he had done. This left a bad impression on his son. The father is passing onto Mark the skills he learned from his dad.
What could the parents have done to help Mark?
They did provide Mark with private anger management sessions. However, they missed the fact that they personally need assistance. It was suggested to them to take a parenting class together but they didn’t listen. The father needed to attend an anger management class as well and/ or counseling. Both parents should have made a personal commitment to work together to help their son. One day Mark will change when he’s ready. His parents must continue to work on rebuilding the relationship as they work on developing their own parenting skills.
Family #2: Dealing with a teenage son’s negative behavior in school
Mary, a single mother was experiencing problems with her son acting up in school. He was thirteen (13) years old and His name was John. He was a smart student but he tended to make poor choices in the classroom which led to conflict with other students. The mother wanted early intervention for her son. She checked around to find private one-on-one anger management sessions for John. After she located a private individual to work one-on-one with John, she explained to the individual that John had an anger problem and needed help.
It was revealed in the anger management sessions that his mother was very demanding and had high expectations for her son. Mary really cared about her son’s success. She was committed and dedicated to make sure her son received help. After completing the anger management sessions, John’s behavior significantly improved in the class room. His behavior improved with his mother as she recognized her expectations were too high. John is doing exceptional well in school and had fewer incidences because he was controlling his attitude and temper.
What did the mother do correctly?
She provided the support and intervened early before her son’s negative behavior became routine. If you are contributing to your child’s negative behavior, you must change your approach by building a relationship with your child. If necessary, seek intervention right away and don’t worry about what people will say about your family. The longer you wait, it becomes more difficult to change the behavior. Remember you are a role model for your family. What life skills do you want your children to pass onto their off-spring?
There will be a series of articles on Understanding Your Behavior and Its Impact on Your Child’s Development.
Article written by: Mr. Wisdom (c) 2009 EnviCare Consulting, Inc.