Correcting our Children’s Behavior

Correcting our Children’s Behavior

By Gonan Premfors

In a previous blog, I wrote about the importance of accepting our children’s choices as they grow up and become adults. But the process of accepting our children’s choices starts many years before they turn 18! It starts from the moment they are born.

As parents, it is our responsibility to both unconditionally love and (at the same time) serve as role models for our children. This means that sometimes we need to correct our children’s behavior when their behavior is not acceptable or when it is not safe; however, we must be very careful with the process of correction because sometimes it can lead to more harm than good.

“Accepting the child” is a major tenet of the Parentology model. As part of this, we spend a lot of time in our courses talking about the importance of separating a child from his or her behavior.

If a child is behaving aggressively, it does not mean that he or she is aggressive. It just means the child did something aggressively.

It is important to address the behavior by saying something like, “when you pull that toy aggressively from your friend, he may get hurt”, or simply affirming the positive and saying, “you can be more gentle with your friend so that he does not get hurt,” rather than, “you are aggressive”.

Here’s another example. If a child is not helping out around the house, a constructive response would be to say, “when you don’t help around the house, I am not able to get dinner ready on time” rather than saying, “you are lazy”. This gets into the territory of something we call “labeling”.

The point I am trying to make is that when you say to a child, “you are aggressive” or “you are lazy” the child’s subconscious does not objectively evaluate the comment since it is coming from an authority figure. The child’s subconscious will accept the label, start to believe it and come up with even more scenarios in which to be aggressive or lazy. The label then becomes self-fulfilling and difficult for the child to get rid of later in life.

Even in a very emotionally charged situation, it’s so important to let your children know that you still love and accept them no matter what they have done. Then we have to let them know that what you cannot accept is their inappropriate behavior. Making this distinction between behavior and a personality trait will create a huge difference in the child’s world, and how they feel about themselves. After all, we want them to have high self-esteem and to trust themselves.

Gonan Premfors

Gonan is the originator of the philosophies behind Gozamm, the home of the Parentology, Trust and Open Heart workshops. An industry thought-leader and a perennial innovator, Gonan is setting trends in the realms of families and business worldwide. Her eclectic background; being born in Turkey, married to a Swede, having lived in the Middle East for 25 years and now living in California, she truly brings a new dynamic perspective to an important field. -- view all articles