Creative Child

True Behavior Change Begins Here

by Rebecca Eanes


I discovered that my eight year old wasn’t a “bully” because he said hurtful words to his brother. A heartfelt discussion allowed him to open up and tell me that he felt his brother was better than him at everything. He thought he was smarter, he could draw better, was better at video games, and had more friends. He wasn’t a mean child, he was a hurting child. He felt like he didn’t measure up. He felt bad. His behavior was his distress call. Taking away his privileges wouldn’t have addressed his feelings or healed the hurt. Those would have continued to fester beneath the surface if I hadn’t taken the time to see the heart behind the behavior. He didn’t need to be grounded to his room, he needed to be grounded in the truth that we was significant and accepted.

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I talked to my three year old about his defiance. I talked to my eight year old about his hurtful words. I corrected them, but I didn’t stop there. I went to the source and put a little healing balm. I answered the distress call. Could the behavior that you keep having to correct be a distress call? This is where real healing begins and how behavior problems are fixed, not simply managed.

Rebecca Eanes, is the founder of and creator of Positive Parenting: Toddlers and Beyond. She is the bestselling author of 3 books. Her newest book,Positive Parenting: An Essential Guide, is more than a parenting book, it's a guide to human connection. She has also written The Newbie's Guide to Positive Parentingand co-authored the book, Positive Parenting in Action: The How-To Guide to Putting Positive Parenting Principles in Action in Early ChildhoodShe is the grateful mother to 2 boys.


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