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We empathize. We soothe.

January 18, 2021

Your kids may be angry, belligerent, disrespectful.

It can be helpful to understand what is underneath the behavior.

Your child may actually be frustrated, depressed, grieving. If their behavior is met with discipline or punishment or admonishing, you may actually then see an escalation of behavior. The intervention based on negative consequences may backfire.

This is because it only inflames their already bad feelings.

It is not that we want to excuse innapropriate behavior, but sometimes, by understanding what lies beneath and addressing that, then the behavior may improve.

For that, instead of thinking of consequences, instead of us getting angry and short in response…. we get compassionate and caring.

To do so we acknowledge their feelings likely giving rise to the behavior. We empathize. We soothe.

“I hear you. You are angry. I can’t help but wonder though if your aren’t frustrated or sad. We are going through a lot these days. It’s hard on me too. I love you. We will get through this. Come, let me give you a hug. Let’s take a break and do something together…..”


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I am Gary Direnfeld and I am a social worker. Check out all my services and then call me if you need help with a personal issue, mental health concern, child behavior or relationship, divorce or separation issue or even help growing your practice. I am available in person and by video conferencing.

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Gary Direnfeld, MSW, RSW

gary@yoursocialworker.com
www.yoursocialworker.com for counseling and support

www.garydirenfeld.com – to build your successful practice

Gary Direnfeld is a social worker. Courts in Ontario, Canada, consider him an expert in social work, marital and family therapy, child development, parent-child relations and custody and access matters. Gary is the host of the TV reality show, Newlywed, Nearly Dead, former parenting columnist for the Hamilton Spectator and author of Marriage Rescue: Overcoming the ten deadly sins in failing relationships. Gary maintains a private practice in Georgina Ontario, providing a range of services for people in distress. He speaks at conferences and workshops throughout North America. He consults to mental health professionals as well as to mediators and collaborative law professionals about good practice as well as building their practice.

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