What do you think about changing the word “misbehavior” to “mistaken behavior?” Why? Because mistakes are to learn from and that is exactly what you want your child to do.
While it is easy to get angry about “misbehavior,” it is hard to get upset about “mistakes.” Positive energy takes over as you think about how to teach your child not to make the same mistake again!
Early Experiences and their Effect on Later Life
Suzanne, an attractive young woman dressed in a red business suit, was sitting alone in a diner. Preparing for a presentation and engrossed in her work, she happened to notice out of the corner of her eye a young man arriving at the booth in front of her. With a young woman already seated there, he, somewhat nervously, introduced himself as Bob and then sat down across from her. She seemed delighted to meet him, and he relaxed immediately.
While trying to remain intent on her work, Suzanne could not help but overhear bits and pieces of what they were saying. Then little by little, without even realizing it, she ended up overhearing just about the whole conversation. While it started off in a low tone, Bob began to speak louder and louder.
“…and then there was my stepmother,” Suzanne heard him say. “She was very strict, even a little mean. She was always after me to turn off the light before leaving any room. While that may sound reasonable, it was very demanding; and there were many times I simply forgot. Heaven help me if I left a light on before leaving the house. That really made her mad.”
His forcefulness continued. “Listen to this,” he said. “She made me lock my car door every time we went anywhere in the car. I just hated that. It felt so demeaning, having to lock myself in as we traveled off to even the closest destination down the street.”
“The worst part of it all is that to this day I still forget to turn off some lights and then get mad at myself when I return. Moreover, I still drive with the doors locked… and feel demeaned at the very same time.”
“Carol,” he continued, “One day I am going to have a great rebellion. I am going to leave every light on in my house before leaving and drive off down the street with all the doors unlocked.”
The two of them laughed!
Suzanne, a psychologist, snickered to herself, “Oh, those early years. They really do leave their mark!”