As a parent there is nothing quite as difficult as seeing your child struggle. It feels so helpless to observe the suffering when you don't have the right tools to help.
This is exactly how I felt a while back when my 6 year old was going through a challenging period. While he was a sweet and good kid, his lack of social skills would get him into trouble often. Ordinary nuisances we all experience would turn into grand fiascos. Things as little as being called out or as simple as receiving a compliment in a public setting would cause him to lash out.
I tried to encourage change by sitting him down and reviewing his day together. We discussed appropriate behaviors he can implement in place of his outbursts. While it helped a bit, the scenarios varied from day to day and required different responses. As a little boy it was hard for him to pick up on the cues to deal with them accordingly. With time I came to understand that while the scenarios were different the triggers were pretty much the same. After some thought I noticed that it wasn't the action that generated the negative response but rather the emotional connection and how it made him feel. Being a child with a low self esteem simple things caused him to feel threatened, embarrassed, scared and so on, and his skills in dealing with these were lacking. I started focusing on having him recognize and connect to the emotions he was feeling. The more aware he became the simpler it was to work on healthy responses. In fact he got so good at it, he started noticing patterns in others. When a friend hit him the other day, he knew to ask him if he want's to be included in the game he was playing, understanding that the hitting was an immature way of his friend asking for the attention he needed.
Seeing the positive change in my sons behavior encouraged me to do something to help other struggling kids. I wanted these kids to have a space to think through what's going on in their life, find the triggering emotion and grow from there by fostering healthy responses in behavior.
Here's the result-a beautiful junior journal geared towards social emotional development.
You can get THE STORY OF ME! here. Let us know how it works for your child.
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