Use Your Words, Not Your Body

We’ve been struggling a bit with Joey expressing himself in inappropriate ways, especially when he feels Otto is invading his space.

It can be frustrating for us, becaue must of his triggers are relatively small incidents. But for Joey they feel like a big deal. For example, if we tell him we’re done with an activity or he can’t do something, oftentimes he begins to cry and  swings his arms.

We try to respect his feelings by being firm, but gentle, not accepting the poor behavior (there’s still consequences), and giving him another way to express himself. Usually I find myself saying things like,

  • Use your words, not your body.
  • How do you feel? I feel…
I think all too often we push the emotions of young children aside as not important or not contributors to the poor behavior and we just see it as blatant disobedience. When we acknowledge how they’re feeling it sends the message that they’re important and how they feel/what they want matters. I know, sometimes I miss this opportunity, because I’m too busy trying to get something else done.
How do you handle inappropriate behavior with your children?

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