One of my kids has some behavioural issues.
Every day he has to work extra hard to manage some of the basic interactions that many of us take for granted. His Mom and I have to work hard at being good parents for him. Lots of times both he and we get it wrong. Itís stressful.
|Dr. Ross Greene|
Hereís what I took away from the session.
That all kids want to do well and that doing well is always preferable to not doing well. Turns out this is true for you and me too. We all act badly sometimes, some of us more than others, but we all want to do well. Thatís a great assumption to make about the people around us, especially when we are having difficulties with relationships.
The other thing I learned is that my child is not, fundamentally, attention-seeking, manipulative, or unmotivated. Nor is the problem that his parents (yes, thatís us!) are too permissive or inconsistent disciplinarians. Dr. Green made a strong case that kids who exhibit challenging behaviour are lacking certain skills Ė like flexibility, frustration tolerance, adaptability, and problem solving. Our job as parents, grandparents, and educators is to help them gain those skills. These kids donít need our judgement or punishment. They need our help to navigate life.
And, you guessed it. The same applies to all of us. When you or I do not have the skills, or the character, or the knowledge that we need in a given situation Ė at work or at home - we become stressed and can behave badly.
I like this idea of changing the lens on how we see kids who have challenging behaviours. And I like the idea that it helps me to change the lens on adults (including myself) who exhibit challenging behaviour.
How do we create a more compassionate and humane society for kids who struggle, new Canadians, people with addictions, seniors, our aboriginal people, those with an intellectual disability, indeed, for all of us?
It all begins with the lens through which we look.