Monday, July 17, 2006

You Get What You Expect from Your Child

In my Amazon blog post Those Ah-Ha Moments I wrote about the things we hear or read that is sort of like a light bulb flashing in our head helping us to understand why our kids do something. One of those moments came to me reading The Explosive Child by Ross Greene, PhD

Dr. Greene states: "**your interpretation of a child's explosive behavior will be closely linked to how you try to change this behavior. In other words, your explanation guides your intervention."

Dr. Greene says that we must assume an explosive child would do well if he or she could. It is natural to assume that the child is manipulating us or misbehaving. I have been there with Billy Ray and still struggle at times to change my approach. What we say and how we respond does make such a difference in how our child will respond.

In the old days when I was trying to figure out why Billy Ray yelled so much, I thought or even said “would you just shut up”. One time Billy Ray even said “I can’t” and he was right. I needed to learn to change approaches and adapt to him. He couldn’t adapt to us.

I loved Dr. Greene’s comments about the normal approach to talk to a child about why he or she acts the way they do. He says the child is the worse person to ask. I heartily agree. Billy Ray has proved that over and over again. I need to listen to him through his reactions to activities or situations not expect him to be able to put the problem in words.

I am off to Corvallis, Oregon to Oregon State University for the Direct Supports Conference on Wednesday and Thursday. I am really excited because the keynote speaker is Dr. David Pitonyak who I wrote about previously.

Dr. Pitonyak writes: “My practice is based upon a simple idea: difficult behaviors result from unmet needs. In a sense, difficult behaviors are messages which can tell us important things about a person and the quality of his or her life.”

My presentation is the first time slot following the keynote on Wednesday so I am hoping to get to attend lots of other sessions including as many of Dr. Pitonyak’s sessions as I can after that.

Until next time,
Peggy Lou Morgan
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Lighthouse Parents Blog
Parenting Your Complex Child Yahoo Group
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