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“All misbehaviour is a cry for help or connection. Respond to the need and the behaviour will change. “- Dr. Laura Markham

As humans, our natural state is to be in harmonious connection with our loved ones. It’s how we ensure our survival as children. If our child is acting out of alignment with this- being difficult, being provocative, picking fights- there is always a reason.  

Have you ever picked a fight when what you really wanted was a hug? I hope i’m not the only one! 

Perhaps your child is feeling scared that you love the new baby more and has started hitting.

Make Special Time a priority and tell your child often, “I could never love anyone more than you” and the hitting will stop.

Maybe you’ve been stressed and you haven’t been able to pay as much attention to your child as usual. They might break a few rules to say, “Hey, notice me and pay attention to me!” (even if it’s not the kind of attention they really need.)

Take a few minutes to delight in your child throughout the day to meet their connection needs and the provocative behaviour will stop. 

Maybe our child is needing some extra nurturing but instead of saying so, they insist that they need help with EVERY.LITTLE.THING. 

Pretend your child is a baby (yes, even big kids) and give them that extra nurturing they need and their independence will return. 

When your child is acting out or being difficult, try to look past the behaviour to figure out the need that is driving it. Remember: They’re doing the best they can!

 

Want some more support?

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Sarah Rosensweet is a certified peaceful parenting coach, speaker, and educator, and the parenting advice columnist for Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper. She lives in Toronto with her husband and three big kids (ages 13, 16, and 19). Peaceful parenting is a non-punitive, connection-based approach that uses firm limits with lots of empathy. Sarah works one-on-one virtually with parents all over the world to help them go from frustrated and overwhelmed to, “We’ve got this!”

Read more at: www.sarahrosensweet.com