Dr. Kari is an Occupational Therapist and Certified Transformational Parenting Coach. She loves following her heart and helping others do the same, especially when it comes to changing the way we parent the next generation of leaders and learners.
When you get down to brass tacks, small children do not yet have enough language and verbalization skills to let us know exactly what they want or need. So, when they are having a hard time, sometimes what we see are “behaviors” like tantrums and acting out.
What if instead of seeing “behaviors” that need to be corrected, we try to get to the bottom of what’s going on for the child?
How to Look Under the Surface
Consider an iceberg. The tip of the iceberg is the behavior you see (maybe a behavior like crying, biting, hitting, or saying ‘no’). But underneath the tip of that iceberg are the causal factors. Beneath the waterline, we find all the reasons WHY the behavior may be occurring. It could be many things such as:
Underlying any behavior could be one, or a combination, of the above factors! So, instead of only correcting behaviors or explaining WHY they can’t do something - explore underlying needs that may be present that you can address. In other words, don’t just look at the tip of the iceberg, look beneath the surface too!
Simple Ways to Connect and Communicate
We will address more communication strategies in a future blog, but here’s a simple starter for when a behavior is occurring: the AVR. (Acknowledge - Validate - Reassure).
We hope this was helpful! Share your lightbulb moments with us!