You get a call from your daughter’s school. Her teacher says she’s not paying attention in class, keeps looking around the room, and keeps her earbuds in. She says that when she addressed this with Christina she first ignored her, then walked out of the room without permission. Her teacher says she is being disrespectful and inappropriate. She says Christina is “quite capable” of doing the work and would simply prefer to daydream. You assure her you will speak to Christina and get to the bottom of this.
It is in this moment that you have the opportunity to make a powerful choice. You can choose to see Christina’s behavior as:
1) Intentional, manipulative, and “disrespectful”
2) A result of her challenges with dysregulation, an overactive fight-or-flight response, and anxiety
The meaning you place on Christina’s behavior will determine your thoughts, feelings, and approach.
We know that Dan Hughes’ concept of PLACE (Playful, Loving, Accepting, Curious, Empathic) is an effective way to parent kiddos who had been adopted. Which perspective seems to fit this approach better? (Yep, I thought #2 too).
Try to get yourself in the mindset of #2 on a consistent basis. Do five minutes of deep breathing after receiving a phone call like the one above and remind yourself of your child’s challenges. Use self-talk to review PLACE and think about how to use this approach to address some of the common issues that come up.
We want to know how it goes – leave a comment below with your #1 and #2 perspectives for your kiddo and what you’ve found helpful in shifting to #2.