Do understand your own behavior or is your behavior habitual therefore the same old reactions?
Child development is through their existing abilities of hearing, seeing, touching, smelling, taste and physical feeling. Mental development is a later development and learned in the process of absorbing what they witness others doing.
What behavior are you modelling to the children around you?
How are you engaging with the child/ren around you in order to support them in understanding their behavior reflecting back to them that they are still beautiful and wonderful? Warning, supporting a child’s development doesn’t come with labeling them and grouping them into a category – that only gives the adults a false understanding and reasoning that further disconnects the child from their behavior and only meets the adults needs for understanding. If an adult did not learn why they behave the way they do in their stages of development they may not understand why their child is behaving the way are are and they will seek answers that generally lead to a diagnosis. Adults will not see that the child is taking in the behavior around them and responding either by duplicating it or reacting to it. Adults generally will not recognize too that they are demonstrating the same behaviors.
An example, one of my son’s elementary teachers. Whenever I went by her class while in the school volunteering or coming to pick him up I would see her with her back to the class on a computer with the children left to work on their own. Her classroom was in a state of disarray with piles on top of piles in every available space. Paper, art and craft materials stacked so that if there was a breeze it would be like a deck of cards and come crashing down. Our experience was that this particular teacher was close to retirement and interested in art, yet she was still teaching a regular class. She spent most of the year outside of the class on big school projects leaving the children she was responsible for in the hands of others in the school who would come in to fill in periodically throughout the day and even part way through a subject. Arrangements also included switching classes so that other classes could be taught what she was interested in. Two weeks prior to the Christmas break or a school event her class room had a revolving door and many times no adult was in the class and they would be watching a Disney type movie.
The day came that we had an appointment with her to discuss our son’s behavior in her class room. Sitting with her was painful and I believe we all had trouble focusing on her as she attempted to find my son’s work. It was in a pile in front of her on her desk that was no less than three feet high. What we heard was that our son was not organized and able to complete a task. That he was not able to work on his own and was distracted easily. Therefore her recommendation was that he be tested as a candidate for medication. Medication that she herself had put her son on through his early years. I asked her if her child continued on this medication and she said no, at a later age he insisted that they stop and work differently on his tenancies She went on to say that he resented this strategy of medication as he couldn’t remember much of his earlier years.
Therefore are we aware of our own needs and how they affect those around us? Will we judge our children for duplicating what they are observing us do? Is it easier for us to fix it so our experience has more ease and if so is this a long term solution or a temporary fix?
The reason we went in to have a conversation with this teacher was that our son was going into a closet and shutting the door. She felt he was hiding and that he was a problem. What she did not recognize was that this was the only strategy he had to get away from the chaos of the environment she was unconsciously creating to meet her own needs!
Imagine if this teacher had learned a way to communicate with our child that would connect to the values rather than labeling him a problem. She would have understood her needs more, perhaps leading to change in the classroom for all the children.