• Dr. Jazz Killiebrew

Safety v. Sanity:What Do You Do When Your Child’s Behavior is too Much for You To Deal With at Home

It's time that we address the elephant in the room. What do you do when your child’s behavior makes you want to send them back to school, but their safety makes you want to keep them at home?

This week’s blog may raise some discomfort; however, we can not change what we are unwilling to confront. It’s time that we address the huge elephant in the room for many parents and teachers. Schools have become more than academic institutions for many parents and educators. With the increasing and alarming amounts of learning differences and behavioral issues both diagnosed and undiagnosed each year, parents are feeling defeated in their own homes, and teachers are feeling more and more like babysitters and behavioral managers.

Many parents are not afraid of virtual learning or homeschool, they are afraid of having to come head to head with their child’s behavior each day. Too often, parents and guardians have not fully acknowledged the severity of their kiddo's behavior because for 8 hours a day it’s not their problem to deal with and they take on the mindset of "out of sight, out of mind".

This blog will introduce an amazing tool that will aid parents in handling behavior problems during virtual learning and home school. With the increasing stress that comes along with this pandemic, it is vital that your home not only be a safe place for your kiddos to learn, but also a place of comfort, peace, and respectful expression for all who enter.

If we are going to transform behaviors and how we deal with our children and each other, we must realize why>what. Why is always greater than what. We cannot get caught up in what is happening. Instead, turn your energy to focus on why it's happening.

Restorative Practice is the perfect place to start. Restorative discipline is not punitive, but reflective. It will teach your child how to find his/her voice and how to use that voice to talk through how they feel. Below you will find tips to start handling behavior issues in your home or classroom with a restorative approach vs. a punitive approach.

  1. Fear vs.Respect- Your purpose is not to incite fear or command respect through idle threats and warnings. Your purpose is to gain respect through how you model, demonstrate, give, and love. Parents are always a child's first teacher.

  2. Control vs. Support- Control is pointing out flaws and demanding correction. Support is encouraging your child to reflect on their behavior, consider how their behavior has affected others, and make changes based on their reflection.

  3. Anger vs. Understanding- When parents are angry, kids feel blamed and misunderstood. When adults are understanding they use a gentle tone and show grace despite how frustrated they may feel.

Please remember to ask your child these important questions when engaging in restorative practice:

  1. What happened?

  2. How did it happen?

  3. Who else was affected by what you did?

  4. What role did you play in this?

  5. What do you need to do to make this right?

  6. How did your choices affect how you feel and what can you do to repair the damage?

There is no parenting blueprint or perfect way to deal with discipline, but every day you have an opportunity to support and love on your kids, not because they are perfect, but because they need you. Let's start this new school year off restoring, reflecting, growing, learning, and dreaming.


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