There are no bad kids, just kids with bad habits.
Kids develop survival skills in the worst home environments, and even in the best home environments, they are mimicking the behavior they see in their parents.
Whether I’m coaching kids or raising my own, I look for moments when they show interest in something. When they start asking questions about something, you can use that to guide them on their path, and you learn to start asking them questions.
For example, a child in our kids martial arts or kids yoga program will tell their parents that they want to quit. Some parents will give in and say, “Okay, we’ll quit.” Rather than ask themselves, “What’s best for my child?” they allow their child to decide what’s best for them.
This is a great opportunity for parents to teach their child self-awareness.
Self-awareness is knowledge of one’s own character, feelings, motives, and desires.
When kids are excited, afraid, angry, or frustrated, it’s a chance for them to practice self-awareness. This is a great opportunity to ask them questions and teach them to reflect.
Why don’t you like it?
Can you think of a time when you had a good time?
Ca you think of a time when you didn’t have a good time?
What did you do today?
Were you tired or hungry?
Then you can start to make associations. You can say to your child, “That day you had a nap” or “That day you didn’t eat a snack.”
It teaches your child to self-regulate rather than always making the world better for them.
If you approach parenthood as “this is the right way to do it,” then you’re missing the whole point. As a parent your job is to equip them for what they face out in the world.
Rather than make the world better for them, you are making them better for the world.