The "Difficult" Child.

parenting wellbeing May 27, 2020

One of the biggest pre-cursors to issues with mental and emotional health in later life is a child's early environment.  Recent research claims that 1 in 3 mental health issues are caused by adverse experiences in early childhood.   A child's wellbeing is so intrinsically linked to the wellbeing and mental health of their parents or any difficult experiences that they may have encountered.  Children can be labelled as "difficult, yet hyperactivity, tantrums, behavioural issues and emotional irregularity, can also be symptoms of mental and emotional distress.  The problem is, the moment we judge a child, we have lost any hope of helping them. Because judgement instantly kills connection.  


But in the words of the great Wayen Dyer, "when we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change." Instead of thinking your child is difficult, how about thinking my child is having a difficult time?   As a previous sufferer of PTSD myself and also now in my role helping parents and their children improve their self esteem,  I focus my work with music as much on increasing connection and helping parents see things differently,  as I do on increasing confidence in the children ... because they are so intrinsically linked.  The relationship we have with ourselves as parents,  influences every single other relationship we have and this is especially true, when we are parenting.  Our own wellbeing and mental health has a direct impact on the wellbeing of the child, therefore making sure your own happiness is a priority, is essential for helping others.  Put simply, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

When we are stressed, or living in survival mode, as most of us are in today's society, we can become reactive and lose sight of the end game.  An emotionally healthy child. As our children learn to co-regulate their emotions, way before they are able to regulate them independently, understanding that a child's behaviour is simply a communication about their own world of thoughts and feelings,  can help the parent shift their focus to guiding their child through the difficult moment.  Or better still, to use these challenging moments to notice what is being triggered within themselves.  Our children are our biggest teachers, if we choose to let them be and they highlight to us very clearly, exactly what it is we need to change.  If only we can stop to listen.

I wonder what your child's behaviour is telling you?  


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