Misbehavior…Part 2

In continuing the series on Becky A. Bailey’s book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline, I’ll be talking about her #2 reason why misbehavior serves as a vital function and can be looked at as a good thing.

In her book, Ms. Bailey says that the #2 reason is:

“Misbehavior teaches children how to communicate in order to get their needs met. All misbehaviors offers an opportunity to teach and to learn. Our responses to misbehavior teach children how to get their needs met.”

Think about what she said….OUR responses to their behavior teaches our children how to get their needs met. Hhhhhmmmm….let that resonate.

How do you respond? How do I respond? What exactly are we supposed to be doing to respond so that we get a postive outcome next time….lasting learning? Our goal is to prevent misbehaviors before they even start…..we’ll never make them stop completely….that is absurd to think that will ever happen. Our goal is to get your child to think before they act.

Just how the heck do we do that?

If I/we teach our children that negative behaviors achieve a goal, you’re going to get more negative behaviors. Guaranteed. I’d rather teach my child that he is able to achieve this goal…it’s within his reach. This is going to take a lot of persistence, hard work, and lots of effort.

Look at your situations…..does your child say, cry/scream/beg/whine in the grocery store to get what he/she wants? What is your response to that behavior? Do you give in in order to save face? To stop the whining? To make it easier on YOU? Honestly, you’re not making it easier on anyone! Especially your child.

MM has a horrible time in the grocery store….just a fact of a child with SPD. There is too much stimulus going on all around him. He can only hold it in for so long. Then he loses it…..starts acting out, crying, screaming, grabbing stuff off the shelves, laughing hysterically, kicking us, and I could go on and on and on…..but if you live with a child who has RAD….you know this scene….you live it, too.

So, what is it I personally do when these situations arise? Well, I try to calm MM using several techniques such as holding him (yes…even though he’s hitting me, kicking me, screaming in my face) and speaking softly to him to “sssshhh, calm down honey, mommy’s here, it’s ok, I’ve got you.” as I kiss him on the cheek…..over and over and over. Usually within minutes he just simply melts. He starts to play with my hair and rests his head on my shoulder….I can feel his body totally relax as he’s doing this. If the prior technique is not working…..then I hold MM, and take him out to the vehicle….and do everything I can to get him calm. I let dh finish getting the groceries. Honestly, it isn’t worth it for MM to have to feel that way…he shouldn’t.

I was talking to someone once about taking “things” away from MM as punishment. We must be VERY careful about this. Our RAD children attach to objects rather than us. If I take away MM’s favorite toy car for example, he feels like I’m actually taking away his “love”…..he even said this before. I took his car away and put it on top of the fridge, he screamed, and cried, saying, “You’re taking away my love!” WHOA!! Did that ever stop me in my tracks!! How could I, a loving mommy, do that to him? I truly want total healing in MM, and how is that going to happen if I’m taking away his “love?”

This is not an easy road, by any stretch of the imagination! We sometimes feel alone, scared, unsure of what we’re doing and is it really working? Don’t fret….if you’re seeing positive changes, no matter how small, then it IS working!! Keep at it…..don’t give up…..your child is worth every bit of hard work and persistence you’ve got.

So, as Ms. Bailey put it…..All misbehavior give the opportunity to teach and to learn…..remind yourself of that next time your child does something undesirable. If we don’t teach….what are they learning?

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

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Misbehavior….What is it Really About?

So, I told ya’ll in the last post that I’m reading Becky A. Bailey’s book, Easy to Love, Difficult the Discipline. I tell ya, I’m thoroughly enjoying every page, every paragraph, every word. I’m hoping for it to sink into my mind and become one with it. I spoke with MM’s counselor the other day about this book, she hadn’t read it but had heard of it, so I told her the premise of the book and what I was learning from its pages. She was thrilled and thought it sounded like a wonderful resource.

In this post, I’m going to start a small series on Misbehavior…What is it Really About? I’m adding my 2cents to what is written in the book, Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline.

Becky A. Bailey says that misbehavior is actually to be seen as a good thing. It serves a purpose in our children’s developmental stages. Our goal as parents is to prevent the likelihood of the behaviors from becoming a habit or repeated. I see exactly what she is saying. How can someone possibly learn something if they don’t have  trial and error in their lives? If someone told you to not touch or look at the computer screen while they were away from their desk. What would you immediately want to or would you do? You’d most likely go to their desk and look at what they don’t want you to see. What is it that is so fascinating to not see you’d wonder….and you’d go take a peek….or at least think about it. Am I right?

Becky A. Bailey states that there are 7 essential functions of Misbehavior.

1. Children learn what is safe and what is not safe. If you tell your child to not touch the stove because it’s hot, what do they instinctively do? Touch the stove. MM does this all the time. He’ll ask me if the stove is hot. I say “No” and he immediately goes over to the stove and touches it quickly. Then with a sound of relief in his voice, he says, “Nope, it’s not hot.” If I say, “Yes, the stove is hot, stay back from it,” he always complys (well, now anyways).  Our children will also learn how to behave toward people who are trying to guide them down a path that is unsafe (drugs, sex, etc) by our cues. 

A huge amount of learning comes from making mistakes…..remember this. Try to remember this the next time your child makes a mistake. Use it as a learning tool and opportunity. We often tell children NOT to do something or NOT behave a certain way….and we’re done there…..what happened to teaching them HOW to behave the desired ways? HOW to do something? No child is born knowing how to handle these types of situations….they are learned behaviors.

Next time we’ll tackle Becky A. Bailey’s #2 reason for Misbehavior being an essential function. Until then, remember this:

To teach is to demonstrate by example!

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249

Becky A. Bailey Rocks this House!!

I started to read one book…..which was a bit harsh for me and my personality. And before anyone says it….I know this healing is NOT about me….but if the dynamics of the method are so not us, and are totally against what I believe, how can I use those methods if I don’t truly FEEL them, BELIEVE them? I can’t…I simply can’t. I returned the book and bought something else. That is where Becky A. Bailey comes in

The book, “Easy to Love, Difficult to Discipline” by Becky A. Bailey was one that came recommended in a group that I belong to. I went to Mrs. Bailey’s site and watched some of her You Tube videos and they all made so much sense. I read the reviews and made the plunge….I bought the book on Amazon for my Kindle. Now….there are pluses and minuses to having it on my Kindle…..I can get to it anytime I want as all the books are cataloged in the Kindle…..and the Kindle stays right where you left off. BUT the big minus in my book is looking something up…I CAN in fact bookmark and highlight things of interest which makes a separate document of highlights from that particular book…..but it just isn’t the same as picking up the book and re-reading a particular part that I need to refer to. BUT I LOVE my Kindle!! AND, I must say.,…..there might be a way and I just don’t know it yet, LOL.

In this book, Becky A. Bailey states that, “Teaching is about giving. Control is about getting.” Boy is that ever true. If I try to control MM, I’m going to get results but I don’t want a dictatorship here and I don’t believe I’ll get true healing on his part….he’d just be acting so as to defer reactions from me and daddy. That isn’t healing in my book. Becky also states that, “…whatever I teach, I learn. at every moment, you teach other people and reinforce in yourself who your sense of who you are, and what other people mean to you. Teaching and learning are actually the same.” We teach our children by OUR OWN actions….for example, she stated that when someone cuts you off in traffic and you react adversly, you are stating that certain ppl deserve no respect and that ppl who make mistakes can be condemned. We are actually teaching our children to fear, hate, and struggle against things that don’t go their way. OR we can teach them that all people deserve and should be treated with respect! Boy, am I guilty of the getting upset when someone cuts me off in traffic. I never thought of it as actually teaching MM those things…but she’s exactly right!!

You know, when I teach MM that some ppl don’t deserve respect…..he probably feels like he’s one of those ppl too. He already has a very low self-esteem…so why not feel that way? That is sad that I’m adding to it without even realizing it. Mistakes can be condemned….wow…that means that MM feels (most likely because of my actions adding to this) like his mistakes are looked at by me as something I’d feel “less than” or that I’d honk at him if he were a car…you get what I’m saying? That in itself makes me feel crappy! But….now I know, so I won’t be doing that anymore!

I know that I haven’t gotten through this book yet…..but so far so good and I highly recommend this book to all!! Thumbs up to Becky A. Bailey…she definately rocks this house!!!!

Blessings to you and your children…

Mama249 

 

Why am I Saying “I’m Sorry?”

Hey there blogger ppl!! I have had a busy week and have neglected the blog. Sorry bout that. This week is full of “anniversary’s” for my family! First is my birthday, and then it’s the anniversary of MM’s Forever Family Day, then our wedding anniversary, which we spent that day in Guatemala in the Embassy swearing that we’d love our son forever and ever, etc….we took those words to heart, and then finally we have the anniversary of MM’s first steps on U.S. soil!! Personally, when we returned to the States, I wanted to literally kiss the ground we were standing upon.

Now, onto my topic…..this was several weeks ago. Maybe even a few months ago. But I thought of it and thought it deserved blogworthyness, is that even a word? MM has serious sensory issues when it comes to going to the grocery store. It is too overwhelming for him. It ALWAYS ends up in a meltdown….ALWAYS. Makes for going grocery shopping a bit frustrating. Well, MM was at his finest….meltdown I mean….and I thought it best to just take him out of the situation and take him to the vehicle. Dh thinks differently….I “won” this time. As I was taking MM out of the grocery store….he was flinging arms and legs all over the place, kicking me, screaming bloody murder…you get the drill. ALL sorts of ppl were looking at us….geez…why wouldn’t they with the scene he was causing? AND I kept saying “I’m sorry.”

 

I look back at the moment….and ask myself…”WHY THE HECK was I apologizing to THEM!!??” They mean nothing in the immediate moment…my son does. I kept apologizing for a behavior that MM cannot “help” at the moment because of his Sensory Processing Disorder…..and those ppl don’t get it…..why the need to apologize to THEM? Was I embarrased? Not really, I think anyways. My son has a disorder that needs my attention…not my apologizing for it. If this ever happens again, and it will, I can forsee that, I will NEVER apologize for his behavior again to ppl that have nothing to do with the situation.

Who is important in this? Me, Dh and MM. But moreseo, MM. I’m sorry MM, I let you down….but just so you know…once we got into the vehicle, I was able to calm him down with kindness and love and some redirection, and we played “I Spy.” I’m proud of MM for being able to come out of “it” with my direction….I have to revel in the small steps…the baby steps. By the time dh got back to the vehicle, we were happily playing and laughing…..he was dumbfounded.

I beg each of you….don’t apologize for your child either. It shows him/her that there is something “wrong”…..we apologize for those things…..not our children!! I for one am ashamed I did it.

Blessings to you and your children….

Mama249