Correcting Children’s Bad Behavior

Children in full meltdown mode? Use the IDEAL response.

We have all been there…our kiddo is refusing to listen, screaming in the grocery store line, in full-on melt-down mode at the restaurant and there we sit in udder disbelief. Our sweet, innocent babe, grew into the minion before us ruling the world as we know it. It feels like a parenting fail, but take heart you are not alone, there is HOPE! Anchor Point’s Rendie Brown Licensed Family& Marriage Therapist and Director of Pathway to Hope Family Camp has some answers to help keep the whole family from imploding!

Pathway to Hope Family Camp utilizes TBRI (Trust Based Relational Intervention), an evidence based therapeutic modality known for helping kiddos in hard places connect with their parents and improve their behaviors rather quickly. The best way, according to our friends at the Karyn Purvis Institute, to correct behavior with our children is by being playful. They call this playful engagement. Evidence show that play disarms fear and helps to promote connection far better than scolding, shaming and yelling. Sometimes though, being playful does not always work and parents need something more.

The IDEAL approach was developed to help moms and dads during these challenging times. IDEAL is an acronym for Immediate, Direct, Efficient, Action-Based, and Leveled at the behavior. Parents want to be Immediate so the child learns that the behavior just produced is the behavior in question; not the behavior from 30 mins ago or even yesterday. An immediate response will also stop the behavior quickly and help the child get back on track without harming themselves or someone else should the behavior escalate. Direct means you want to get on your child’s eye level so that you can talk directly to them; eye to eye. This helps the child not feel you are towering over them and lessens any feelings of a power struggle. Once you’ve reached your child quickly and are on their level, you will want to choose an Efficient response. This will depend on the behavior produced by your child just make sure you do not go overboard. In the Action-based portion of the IDEAL approach, you will lead your child through a re-do. A re-do is a walking through of the event again, from the start, but the child will choose a different ending; hopefully a more desirable one! Now is the time to praise, praise, praise your kiddo for making a better choice!! The act of a re-do helps your child’s brain learn what to do next time. Lastly, Mom and Dad, make sure that you always communicate to the child that it’s the behavior that is unacceptable, not your son or daughter. Our children must know they are always precious and loved regardless of their behavior. Your actions, your behaviors do not impact my ability to love you in anyway…that is a Leveled-at behavior approach.

Do you need help with your children? Did they struggle in a large classroom setting last year? Anchor Point’s Excellent Minds Academy and the Family Hope Center is here for you! Please don’t wait, hope and peace in your family’s home and academic success is just a phone call away: 832.632.1221