I’ve always been one step behind when my kids move to the next developmental level. So in the throes of some middle school challenges, I remember the advice of Dr. Greg Popcak.
Dr. Popcak explained that kids aged 10 and below pretty much do what they are told. But at around 10, you must employ a different approach. I would add that when challenges come it’s important to consider both the kid’s inner and outer game.
The outer game is how your child responds to the structure, boundaries, and expectations you set. Different kids respond to and need different kinds of reinforcements. As parents we must set a course of action and observe its effectiveness as we consistently follow-up.
The inner game is the often unconscious mental dynamic going on in your child’s mind. His or her self-esteem, self-image, perception of past successes or failures all play a role into the action he or she does or does not take.
For example, if a kid feels bad about himself and doesn’t think he can do the task at hand, some consequences will only make the situation worse. A child such as that responds best to support and encouragement.
And those are the kind of adjustments we tried to make, as we helped our middle schooler study for the five tests he had this week.
The Catholic Women’s Guide to Healthy Relationships Tip: Observe your child. Observe your parenting strategy. And be honest if they are a nice fit, finding a new approach if they are not.
Copyright 2012 Christina M. Weber