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.