Dealing with a Child's Challenging Behaviour
I shared these musings on my instagram a few days ago and it seemed to really resonate, so I am sharing here also. I hope that something in these words will speak to you and help you on your motherhood journey.
Our young children’s behaviour is often our reflection to our inner world. They sense everything we don’t speak about. Clingy/ separation anxiety, trouble digesting food, nightmares are a few ways this may manifest. The more we can tap into our inner world and maintain a daily dialogue with it, the greater flow we will see in our parenting and wellbeing in our children…..
Let me talk about this a little more.
If a child is continuing to push a boundary repeatedly when you have continued to say no, firstly notice what are you doing/ where are your thoughts. In many cases the child is seeking your attention and presence. Simply stop what you are doing and get present with them. A big cuddle, a rumble on the couch, a story book, a tickle and a little verbal story to maybe illustrate their behaviour isn’t safe (if this was the case).
At the time or maybe later, notice the story in your head…. what are you thinking as the child does this behaviour. Are you/ your ego feeling like your child should not ignore you or it is rude for them to speak to you the way they are. Simply notice the thoughts and respond by acknowledge that “they need your help in that moment.” You are their teacher (and in spiritual terms they are yours!). What are they needing?
Often I’ve caught myself with the story….. “my kids shouldn’t be doing this… seriously I’m so present with them, I rarely talk on the phone, they don’t watch tv, I spend all this time making nourishing food”…. but you know what? In that moment they couldn’t care less about all that.
They are needing more of me.
Even when I feel there isn’t more of me to give.
And It’s my job as a parent to give them more.
To push my upper limit even when the story in my head would have me believe it’s not possible.
So how do you ensure there is always more to give?
Self care, Meditation and Mindfulness practices are a good place to start. Ultimately a commitment to your spiritual path. A commitment to knowing that these children have come to elevate and teach you.
Being a parent is like the biggest spiritual growth course you can undertake … if you are listening and willing to do the work.
So in that moment when your child appears to be fully annoying you or doing something super cheeky, firstly NOTICE where your attention has been. STOP what you are doing. CONNECT with them – physically, eye contact and dropping out of your ego if you can. What does this little soul need right now? REFLECT on the situation later in a quiet moment.
Sometimes in those moments when I seriously feel I’ve got nothing left to give, sorry times I buy into the story. Sometimes I snap and allow the story to be my reality and I raise my voice or say something in retaliation. And the rest of the time, I catch myself. I remember my ultimate commitment to my spiritual work. And respond with presence.
Photo by Melissa Jean Photography