BEHAVIOR IS DRIVEN BY EMOTION. Ashleigh Warner, Psychologist, breaks it down even more when she says, “Beneath every behavior is a feeling. And beneath every feeling is a need. And when we meet that need rather than focus on the behavior, we begin to deal with the cause not the symptom.” So when your children begin to get upset, instead of raising your voice and making demands, get curious. Try to help them reveal their needs. Misbehavior is how children communicate that they still need our help.
This does not mean to say yes to that candy bar in the checkout lane because they “need” it, it means to consider what their real need is. The real need may be that they are hungry, in which case you could supply a nutritious option and then eat before shopping in the future or it is more likely that haven’t mastered the ability to delay gratification, and they still require our loving but firm support as they practice moving through disappointment. Either way, meeting their needs teaches and empowers children and eventually extinguishes their negative behavior.