We often tend to see our children’s behaviour as good and bad. The good behaviour should be encouraged and the bad punished, right? Well, if only it were that simple! ALL behaviour (even our own) is merely an expression of thoughts, feelings, decisions, and beliefs that lie beneath the surface. It’s helpful to think of an iceberg; we can try to suppress the behaviour that we see on the surface, but then we’re not acknowledging the underlying causes of the behaviour.
You may find that your child/children are misbehaving more frequently or intensely than usual these days. It’s likely that feelings of worry, uncertainty, and even anger are bubbling below the surface, giving rise to this surge of unpleasant behaviour.
I would encourage you to try to look past the tantrums, the back-talk, the whining, screaming, or crying, and try to identify the emotion behind it. If we can show empathy and understanding by validating those feelings before jumping to discipline, we open the door to connection. This will help children feel better. And when they feel better, they inevitably behave better.
In this video we take a deeper look at what underlies the iceberg of behaviour: