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Blame it on the rain

September 19, 2011

A Great Idea…

“When children cannot find good ways to get their needs met, they may resort to terrorism, not out of spiteful nastiness, or stubbornness but out of desperation. Maybe rather than wanting power over the family, a misbehaving boy really wants to feel a little power in his own life. Maybe rather than trying to manipulate and punish the family, she wants to feel loved and safe. That’s why I say to blame it on the rain. Think about the rain that is falling in your child’s life. Think about the stresses in his or her life. Think about the stresses in the family that might make your child feel anxious or lonely. The bad behavior we see in children is often due to the thunderstorms in their lives. So, blame it on the rain rather than blame it on the badness of the child.” (Professor of Family Life, H. Wallace Goddard, in his book, Soft-Spoken Parenting pp. 87-88)

In Other Words …

Often we look at our children’s behavior and think about how it affects us. We often imagine that they are trying to drive us crazy. When we recognize that children do what they do for reasons that make sense to them, we can help them cope with their challenges and needs instead of reacting based on our needs.

How This Applies to You …

When your child acts out, look for the challenges that make it difficult for him or her to be peaceful and loving. When you identify the stresses in your child’s life, show your understanding with compassionate words. When children know their difficulties and frustrations are understood and acknowledged, they can find solutions more readily.

To Find Out More …

For more great ideas (or to share your ideas), visit our Navigating Life’s Journey blog.

For an excellent (and free!) program on parenting, see The Parenting Journey at www.arfamilies.org and, if you have children less than 6 years of age, check out See the World Through My Eyes.

For more in-depth reading, we recommend Soft-Spoken Parenting by H. Wallace Goddard.

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