The C.O.A.L. Method: 4 Quick & Easy Steps to Dealing with Children’s Negative Behaviors
When it comes to parenting, emotions can run high. When children act out negatively, parents often become frustrated quickly and react by trying to fix the behavior immediately by yelling, punishing, etc. However, this approach is never a win for the child or the parent.
Team LIFE SKILL continually studies and researches new and innovative ways to help children grow into the best version of themselves. This often leads to the development of information to help parents as well. From the book, “The Mindful Brain” by Daniel Siegel, we find a different approach for dealing with negative behaviors that children may exhibit.
In this book, the author describes two ways that people deal with negative behaviors; reactive and responsive. If we take this from a parenting perspective, reactive parents become very upset and frustrated when their child throws a tantrum, which leads to a negative response from the parent. In contrast, a responsive parent would remain calm and deal with their child in a more positive way during a tantrum.
Based on Daniel Siegel’s C.O.A.L. Method, parents go through 4 steps when dealing with the negative behaviors from their children. These 4 steps are quick and easy to implement steps and can help parents and their children feel more successful in an already negative situation.
Curiosity – When you observe your child exhibiting a negative response to something, begin to inquire why he/she may be acting this way.
Openness – When you see the behavior, don’t try to change it…this is the truth of the behavior. Be open to it.
Acceptance – When you accept the behavior as it is being exhibited, this creates an opportunity to step in and help your child overcome this behavior.
Love – Approach the behavior that you see with kindness, compassion, and love.
When we use this approach to help our children manage a negative behavior, we are better able to manage our own emotions and, therefore, help them manage their feelings in a negative situation in the future. This leads to better emotional balance, increased resilience, and greater well-being, as Daniel Siegel describes.