1.When I face puzzling behaviors, I promise not to react immediately but Step Back, take my time calmly, and survey the situation.
2.I will become a "Meaning-Maker" which means I will take my time to understand the meaning behind a misbehavior. Only then will I know what to do.
3.I promise to see behavior as communication. My task will be to decipher the
4.I promise to Self-Reflect. I will think about how I feel when my child behaves in an unexpected manner.
5.I promise to take time to see my feelings may be not only a reaction to the present behavior, but a trigger to something that happned to me in the past that's making me overreact.
6.I will stay non-judgmental and empathic.
7.I will ask myself, "Why?" is my child behaving this way before I react.
8.I will think of my misbehaving child as "distressed" not "bad" and try to understand what she is distressed about.
9.I will try and understand my child's mind--what he is thinking--how he is thinking. This is the crux of Parental Intelligence.
10.I will try and understand my child's stage of development and make my expectations for her accordingly.
11. I will give my child the respect I want him to give me. This means after I listen, I will show my child I heard him by paraphrasing what he said and letting him elaborate.
12.I will try and solve problems with my child now that I know what conflicts lie behind the behavior that puzzled me.
13.I will work on strengthening my relationship with my child by listening to his opinions, thoughts, feelings, ideas, hopes and dreams. Then I will share my thoughts as well and we will discuss things and talk things over finding solutions that meet both our needs.
14.I know I will falter just as my child does, but our relationship will stand strong as we continue to learn to trust each other.
Laurie Hollman, Ph.D. is a psychoanalyst and author of Unlocking Parental Intelligence: Finding Meaning in Your Child's Behavior, found on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and wherever books are sold. Go to her website to learn more about Parental Intelligence.