What are You Focusing on, the Behavior or Situation?

What are You Focusing on, the Behavior or Situation?

Sometimes as parents we get stuck on focusing just on certain behaviors that we dislike and forget to look at the full situation we are dealing with. 

For example, your child is crying, screaming, having a big, tantruming fit! You wish your child would stop, you wish the tears would subside, the screaming would go away and all would be well again.  It’s aggravating, it’s difficult, and you really feel like screaming “STOP IT!”

When our own patience is running thin, our emotions high, it’s so tempting to shush our child in the middle of their tantrum, or yell at them to stop.  In that moment, it’s really, quite difficult to find CALM and empathy.

I’ve been there, in that moment, when my automatic response was to think time out or walking away was the only option. It’s tough, but it also just doesn’t work for the long term. If I want my child to really learn to calm down instead of melt down, and learn to really work WITH me, I had to learn a new way.  A calmer, more connected – this is not an emergency way.

I have learned that while it is difficult to pause, to stop focusing on the behavior and instead focusing on the full situation, that is exactly what I need to do.

I would encourage you to try this the next time you dislike a behavior you are seeing from your child:

Instead of focusing on just that crying, on the fit and the screaming, (what ever the behavior may be) pause and focus instead on the overall situation.

*What is your child trying to tell you?

*What could have triggered the situation?


*What does my child need? (Focus on the need, not nescessarily the want!!)

*How can I help my child and I re-connect?

*Can I stay here and be a listening, trusting, caring parent?

Next time you are faced with a behavior that is challenging – can you focus on the situation first and lead from there?

Peace & Be Well,



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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a Masters in Psychology and is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, and one cuddly dog.

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