Birthdays Change Age, Not Behavior


Yes, the title of this blogs says it all. Typically, a blog post is all about creating the problem and offering the solution inside the blog. Let’s get it all over with in the start. Age is not a sole factor to your children’s behavior. Birthdays alone will not change your child’s behavior for the better. We must get to the belief below the behavior to start to remedy poor behavior.

Yes, what I am saying is a not-so-secret secret. Poor behavior will continue to get worse with age, not better.

(I'm sure we all know poorly behaved adults.)

The number one mindset change that I work on with my parent coaching clients is that their children’s behavior is a communication tool. If children are feeling connected, secure, loved and safe; positive behavior will follow. When children are feeling discouraged, disconnected, resentful, confused- often poor behavior will follow. The poor behavior will not get magically better without changing the environment and reinforces- uhh..subtly put…you.

“You can’t teach children to behave better by making them feel worse. When children feel better they behave better.” - Pam Leo

Children are absorbing everything in their environment. That is an amazing thing, in the terms of creating a family. Every family is different and able to create their own individual approach. When things are great, it’s an easy job. When things get off track, it can create epic amounts of stress. I help my parent coaching clients learn new tools to help travel through that stress, getting things back on track. When we feel better, we do better. I equip my parent coaching clients to feel and do better.

Just this week, a student in my Keep Your Family Kind Virtual Parenting Class shared that after many months of thinking her 3-year-old was being bad during dance class, she realized that her child was actually feeling discouraged during class. Her teacher was using isolation, humiliation, and shame to try to motivate positive behavior during class. Her daughter responded by going limp noodle during class.

“It’s like Weekend at Bernie’s. She’s a master of it. I always thought she was just misbehaving and being bad, it never crossed my mind to ask myself 'Why was she behaving this way?'”

When we unpacked a recent meltdown during dance class, we identified that her daughter was feeling hurt and disconnected to everyone else in class. The Mom shared a whole host of punishments that the teacher, and even herself, used during class; even taking notice that now some of the students were now emulating them. Punishments like picking up and moving her daughter’s sitting dot away from the group. She also shared that it was now impacting her relationship with the other Mom’s while in the waiting room. It was not getting better with passing time, but actually getting worse for everyone involved.

During this exercise she had a huge AHA moment. She realized that hurt was driving her child’s behavior. It was no longer a mystery to the misbehavior. It was not because her daughter was three, but because her daughter was feeling hurt and disconnected from the class. She identified it as a trifecta of hurt. The Mom to the daughter, the daughter to the dance teacher and now the Mom to the dance teacher. She decided to send an email and schedule a meeting with the dance teacher and studio owner to talk about some solutions to help her daughter thrive in class. Which takes HUGE guts.

“No wonder my daughter was acting poorly, she doesn’t feel like she belongs. Man, I’d Bernie too.”

At the end of class the Mom shared that she just thought that because her daughter was three it would just go away. But, she had seen over the past months, the behavior getting worse and this exact problem was the driving force of registering for Keep Your Family Kind. She knew that there had to be a different way, and no longer relying on her daughters age as a scapegoat for the misbehavior she learned what was truly fueling the meltdowns during class.

Birthdays do not change poor behavior.

If you find yourself baffled by your children’s misbehavior perhaps a chat with a coach (like me!) would help with some clarity. I offer online private coaching and online parenting classes! Check out all the events by clicking here!