Toxic Behavior #4: You must first be good to get my love It can be so difficult to show your child love when you are angry and frustrated, right? But it is important, as mentioned earlier, to separate the behavior from the actual child. They still need to be shown love.
It will be tempting to not want to take them on a date you had planned or to that movie that you both have been looking forward to. It seems like it is rewarding the negative behaviors. It may be hard to give them a hug when you aren't feeling very affectionate. But if the child has already received a punishment, this is like punishing them again for when they have already "served their time". Additionally, it is so important to keep something positive in your relationship when it's struggling thru this difficult time. If you take away everything, including the positive parts of your relationship, they will feel even more hopeless and may eventually give up all together.
Being a parent is about loving unconditionally. Even when they are being difficult it is important to still hug them, tell them you love them, or spend time with them.
Make an agreement with yourself that you will stick with the punishment/consequence but still love your child, and show them that love, regardless of your feelings about their behavior.
Thank you for reading! Tomorrow Joleen will finish this series with toxic behavior #5
Adapted from "Parenting Your Out-of-Controll Teenager" by Scott Sells
Written by Natalie Chandler
Natalie Chandler, MA, LMHC is a therapist at Imagine Hope Counseling Group. Natalie enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, and couples counseling. We also specialize in family counseling, child, and adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Fishers, Noblesville, Westfield, and Zionsville