Wednesday, March 10, 2010

PTTC part 5... Seeing to the Heart

"Above all, do not attack your child's behavior
and attempt to change it
by endless talking and scolding.
Stay at your center and look beneath the behavior
to the heart of the child.
There you will find only good.
When you see the heart
you will know what to do."

In a lot of instances, parents don't know what to do about a child's behavior. There are countless strategies and parenting methods for correcting "bad" behavior... do this, say this, don't do this, don't give in, don't say this, etc... It can leave a parent overwhelmed by the conflicting advice!
This verse says something simple: don't look at the child's behavior, look at the child. Many strategies that deal with a child's behavior don't fix the real problem (if there is one!) beneath the behavior, they only treat the symptoms. According to this passage, the first thing we should do when we see a behavior we don't like is to re-evaluate our own perception of the behavior! Is it something that will harm the child or those around him? Or is it a mere convenience for us? Is the child acting out because s/he is testing limits and needs to be shown the limits? Or is s/he simply curious or acting out of good intention?

People are too quick to label kids as "good" kids and "bad" kids. The truth is that kids are just kids, and acting out is their way of testing the waters, so that in the future they can learn from their mistakes. Let them learn, let them make mistakes, show them the consequences of mistakes but let them make mistakes in the first place. That is how children learn.

1 comment:

  1. HI

    Again, so wise and so accurate. I ally with your thoughts completely. I see a 'help-book' for parents in the making.

    Love to you