Yes Parenting starts with needs – unwanted behaviours largely stem from unmet needs.
For example, bedtime issues are nearly always due to unmet needs for connection. Punctuality issues are generally because needs for help and attention go unmet while we are busy getting ourselves ready alongside our kids.
Here is a single word you can use to help you assess what might be going on for your child. I first came across it in my early twenties as part of some marriage advice. The word is HALT – H-ungry, A-ngry, L-onely, T-ired.
Throughout the day, and especially in the face of unwanted behaviour, ask yourself:
“Is my child (or am I)…Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired?”
Any one of those is a sign of an unmet need and will affect how well any of us, including our kids, are going to behave in a situation. Attend to your child’s needs as well as your own needs.
If this is something you’ve been practising for a while, share the ways it has helped your family and the challenges you face!