Parents who struggle with challenging children, may find themselves asking why they have such a 'bad kid.' Maybe they experimented with drugs, they try to skip school, talk back, disrespect authority, etc.
And yet, they fail to consider the thing that is right in front of them. Themselves! Now, this is not a blame game. I repeat: this is not a blame game!! I am not here to point fingers and say you are the problem. Now, what I am not going to do is sugarcoat things. That helps no one.
What I am trying to get you thinking about is how you show up with your child. How have you approached them about conflict? What conflict have they been exposed to? When they've 'gotten in trouble' how do you react? When and in what ways do your children trigger you? How do you parent? How do you discipline? What rules do you enforce? Do you 'swing' on all sides of the parenting spectrum? Is your parenting consistent?
These are just some of the questions to start asking yourselves as you ponder on why your child behaves the way they do. Because children simply mirror and learn from their parents, as well as act out in different ways as a result. Yes, there are outside influences that can and will affect them in different ways. But it's how they learn to respond and show up to those outside influences that will determine how they affect them. Many children will come across an offer to skip a class. And--not all children will take that offer. All children are exposed to a 'tough crowd' at school, in their classes, walking around campus, etc. And not all will get in that crowd. It all depends on how you show up for your child in terms of how they show up in their world.
Many kids don't like to go to school. They may use every excuse in the book to try to play hookie. And if you let them, they will. Remember, if you give kids an inch, they will take a mile.
If your child is caught in the middle of your parental conflict, and if you're experiencing a cutoff from them of some sort, they may act out even more. It is important to keep in mind that this also doesn't mean they are bad kids. They are in an unimaginable bind. It is important to remind yourself that of times. Not to excuse their behavior, but to empathize with it. Maintain compassion, while also boundaries and rules. Practice conscious communication and critical thinking.
There are no bad kids. But there can be a 'bad' parenting mindset (that stems from trauma, pain, etc in the parent- more on that later) and that is what will result in what is considered to be a 'bad kid.'
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