Hi, Mama and Papa. Tell me about the last time you blew up. Or the last time your children misbehaved. How did YOU react?
Now recall for me what exactly happened about thirty minutes before the misbehavior?
If you can tell me what happened in detail, I can point out to you the reasons why it happened and ended the way it did.
Being present, mindful at ALL times is almost impossible. But we need to especially in the times our child is going through his issues.
Our behavior and actions are always purpose-driven. We may not know the reason behind our actions, or sometimes we know, but we deny it.
Our child’s behavior, as well, is purpose-driven. So we never stop digging for the why’s to finally find the triggers to our child’s misbehavior, not just say, ‘No, stop it. Act nice.’ It’s like a disease being misdiagnosed. We know how to treat the symptoms by giving medicine instantly to a headache, let’s say, but we don’t take time to find out the root cause.
Be curious and find out why.
In my years of teaching and being an academic head, I noticed the really successful teachers- the ones who stay, and who sincerely claim that teaching is really for them- are the ones who keep finding the Whys because they strive to see the goodness of every child in their classroom. They won’t be misled by the previous years’ teachers’ claims that this batch of students is too strong-willed, or lazy, or any other collective comments.
Lazy, naughty, ‘matigas ang ulo’ and all those labels are nothing but assumptions, and the thoughtless wishes that go along with it like, ‘If she would just listen or study harder, she would…’ are not helping either.
‘Assumptions have no place in parenting or teaching because we cannot put a label on a seed that has the power to grow into something beautiful and capable.
Be curious. This is something we need to do a better job at, as parents, as educators.
Our child misbehaves. Is it because of lack of attention?
How we reacted or what we said?
Is it maybe he has a sensory sensitivity (itchy clothing, irritating sounds, heat) bombarding our child’s body so it makes it hard for him to concentrate and he just ‘acts out’?
He is acting up again. Clingy and doesn’t want to just give me a break.
Nag-iinarte na naman. Kulang sa pansin. Sinasadya na naman.
(There he goes again, acting out. He's doing it on purpose.)
Assumptions. That’s all they are. Parents and teachers have a lot of theories, assumptions, and these stop us from seeing what our child REALLY needs at each moment.
Let’s dig and find out if they’re doing it on purpose, if there’s any emotion they cannot handle, or they just simply can’t cope.
Keep asking why this is happening, or why your strategy didn’t work.
Never stop digging for the Why’s.
If we continue to ask why then we can respond and intervene better. Then we can become the parent or the teacher our child needs.