Everyone struggles with how to respond to behavior they experience as difficult in other people. Even though we don't usually think of it, all of our difficulties with behavior are about emotions. They are about all of the emotions involved--ours and the other person's.
In our society, we don't pay much attention to our emotions, and as a result, we can feel pretty lost when situations become emotional. Generally, we are taught to suppress our emotions, especially the negative ones, such as anger, sadness, irritation and grief.
Many people believe their emotions get them into trouble. This is often true because they don't know how to lovingly and wisely handle their own uncomfortable emotions or someone else's.
We like to believe we are rational beings and that our choices and actions are based purely on reason and common sense. Research shows us something else. We make choices based on our emotions and then use our intellect to find rational reasons to explain why we made the choice we did.
Our emotions are at the heart and soul of who we are and what we say and do. They are a powerful force within us that we try to control, rather than listening to them and valuing their importance in our life.
We usually perceive all behavioral difficulties as strictly behavior and fail to see the emotional connection beneath the surface. You may believe you need to control and manage your child's behavior when she acts inappropriately.
But what I've seen is when you try to manage your child's behavior without considering what's happening with her emotionally, it seldom works in the long run. It's your child's emotions that drive her behavior and choices. When you learn to read and understand what is happening with your child emotionally, then you have the insight to make informed, wise, compassionate choices that support your child's emotional and spiritual well-being.
Your child's emotional stress can also be expressed physically in the lack of well-being in his body. The physical and emotional have a strong connection within all of us. You may even seek a doctor's advice for emotional problems that seem to be physical in nature. Emotional distress can be expressed in many ways in children, including eating problems, nervous habits, illness, and injury due to accidents.
The essential key to bring out the best in your child physically and behaviorally is to nurture his emotional and spiritual wholeness. Then he freely expresses his natural desire and ability to relate harmoniously with you. His soul essence shines brightly and he easily shares his magnificent gifts with life.
When you see your child struggling or misbehaving, take a step back and consider what is happening with her emotionally. Do not see the problem as only a behavioral or physical concern. Ask yourself, *What might my child be experiencing emotionally right now?*
You have within you a natural ability to nurture your child's emotional and spiritual wholeness. Decide to place your emphasis and focus here with your child and yourself. When you look beneath the surface to the heart and soul of your child, problems disappear and you and your child flourish in wonderful ways you didn't know were possible!
Connie Allen, M.A. of Joy with Children. Connie helps parents and educators who are unsure how to best empower their child. . For information on how you can nurture the joyous inner spirit of children, subscribe to her free e-newsletter "Joy with Children". Visit her blog.