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….