Behaviour and Personality – Consider Both!

So often we ask children to respond to our behaviour requests according to our timeline – one that we set up and that works within our own day.

 “It’s time to go to the store”

(because this is the time you’ve chosen as a convenient).

We have to leave now to pick up Justin at baseball practice”

(because of the practice schedule).

“It’s play therapy time”

(because of a pre-set appointment).

Take into account your child’s personality and how your requests – especially home or clinic-based appointment – match his basic nature.  And consider your own too.

  • Do you function more like turtles (slow and steady) or rabbits (fast paced, in constant motion) by nature?
  • Is your child an A.M. person – most alert and engaged before noon – or a P.M. person, needing to ease into a day for a while to get his engine primed and ready for learning?
  • How much time do you each need during the day to recharge and refuel before tackling another event?  Can your child handle back-to-back functions or does he do better with just one formal-learning event per day, mixed in with other fun, less structured engagement times?
  • Think about the unspoken message communicated when scheduled therapies, tutoring’s and activities are non-stop:  You are broken.  You need fixing.
  • All children need downtime, especially school-age children for whom the demands of the school day can be draining.  How may breaks does your child need to function with a management degree of behaviour control and compliance?

 

Slow down the rushing from one activity to the next and insert some break time into your daily schedule.  Overloading a child’s day with therapies, appointments, household chores and errands can often result in a burned-out, demoralised child, and can even exacerbate some of the very problems you’re trying to address.  Maintain a moderate schedule and trust that your child will progress in a healthy manner when allowed to do so at the pace that bust suits his character.

 

Pssst . . . there’s no such thing as “doing nothing”.  What seems like “doing nothing” to you is fostering the creative thinking so many kids miss in today’s over-scheduled lifestyles.   Think of it as re-filling a well that has been pumped too dry.

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