Child development is a natural process, meaning that our children are naturally inclined to work as hard as possible on fulfilling their greater potential.
In fact, the deepest driving desire in a child is to demonstrate mastery, to grow more capable, to become all that he and she can be.
Just as the seed holds the pattern of growth and fruition of the plant, and just as the seed contains the internal drive to grow into its full potential, at the very core of their being our kids are internally guided and driven toward full child development.
A child of any age who appears to lack the motivation to do better may simply have â€ślost touchâ€ť with his or her own truest, deepest intention and desire.
As parents, we create or contribute to this tragic â€śdisconnectâ€ť by fighting with the child.
The more we fight with our children, the more we suppress their own internal will to do better.
We really cannot â€śmakeâ€ť our children behave. The best we can do is to consistently provide influences that nurture and support their own motivation behave better.
We accomplish this by helping the child understand the behavior improvement that we expect. In terms of giving a child feedback, this is called â€śfeed forwardâ€ť.
Rather than criticize the child for what he DID wrong, clearly convey the behavior you expect moving forward.
Now here is a really crucial point. Avoid making that new behavior about you, about what you want, about doing what you say. It has to be about the child doing what his own intrinsic will for child development tells him.
For children under the age of six, you need to show them how you want them to behave, not just tell them. For children older than six, a clear, simple explanation of the behavior that you expect can suffice.
For instance, if your child refuses to stop playing and come to the dinner table, calmly demonstrate and / or explain exactly what behavior you expect.
For instance, you might explain, â€śI expect you to stop playing and come to the dinner table the first time I ask. Now, letâ€™s pretend this is the first time. Please stop your play now and come sit at the dinner table. Letâ€™s see if you can do that?â€ť
If the child does it, show your satisfaction. Treat the accomplishment as a success for the child.
If the child ignores you again, you might try ignoring the child for the time being. Eat your dinner while the childâ€™s dinner cools. The child learns from the consequence of his choices, and you donâ€™t have to stress about it.
Donâ€™t worry that you will â€śhaveâ€ť to give into a demand that you prepare the child a warm meal or snack later. Cross that bridge if you come to it, using the same guideline for working with the child development will.
When we get caught up in an argument or stressful power-struggle with our children we perpetuate conflict in the parent-child relationship and incite their emotional opposition to their own intrinsic motivation toward behavior improvement.