Posted by: coachingparents | November 19, 2009

Decoding Behavior (Part 2)

by Danielle Koprowski

If you missed Decoding Behavior Part 1

As I said last week, when children’s needs are met and nothing is hurting them, they are delightful to be with.  When they are not being delightful, their behavior is telling us they have a need that requires our help.

So we ask, What is causing this behavior? What does my child need? There are three general types of needs; physical, emotional, and sensitivity or temperament.
Physical needs- Is my child hungry, tired, overstimulated, understimulated, hot, cold, teething/in pain, sick…? Most of us have a pretty good handle of meeting children’s physical needs, but it is always a good idea to look here first. Sometimes we might be surprised to find unmet physical needs that are driving behaviors. (More on this in the next newsletter.)

Emotional needs- Here is a partial list of emotional needs: Unconditional love, Loving touch, Affection, Acceptance, Connection, Respect, Feeling heard, Guidance, Safety, Security, Stability, Down time, Play, Self-Esteem, Self-Worth, Sense of belonging, Feeling valued, Friendship, Emotional release of pain, Freedom, Power (control over their life), Trust, Positive role models

Looking at that list from the eyes of a parent, it seems daunting. That we have to provide for all of those needs and often do so when our own needs during childhood went unmet. (We do not and likely can not do this alone.) It is a challenge, but it is also a Great Opportunity. This is our chance for our own personal growth and our chance to change the world. Imagine what we will create as a society when many step into adulthood from a place of emotional fullness.

Sensitivity/ Temperament Needs- Some children have an innate temperament or sensory issues that cause them to feel out of sync. If your child’s physical and emotional needs are met and something is still off or if your intuition is that there is something out of sync about your child, they may have sensitivity issues. There are many ways to help children with these issues and many wonderful books on the subject to help parents.

The next newsletters will explore each of these needs in depth, so we can begin meeting them and enjoying more our delightful children.

Danielle Koprowski
Free To Be Parenting Support
ACPI Certified Coach for Parents


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