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Powerful Concept to Alter Childrenís Behavior
is a Jewish word that doesnít translate directly into English, but it informs
my attitude to people who have undergone hardship and need help.
the word is a hybrid of several concepts, not standing alone on any one, but
really the combination of all.
concepts or words in English best to translate this Jewish word are; empathy,
compassion, mercy and charity.
one is troubled, has undergone hardship, is in a bad way, we want to show
behavior associated with the combination of those attitudes. We want to be
supportive, concerned, helpful and offer something enabling of a better outcome.
We want to feel for the other and provide a hand.
example, a parent may feel perturbed by the behavior of a child. The child who
shows his or her struggles through behavior can be felt to be a challenge.
Challenging behavior can be felt to be willful, undermining and oppositional. In
response, the parent can feel angry, frustrated, uncertain.
this Jewish concept, if we can understand and appreciate the challenges as the
child experiences them, then we not only demonstrate an appreciation of this
Jewish word, but in so doing, can alter our attitude towards the child. When we
alter our attitude, a change in our behavior is soon to follow. As we change our
attitude and behavior, it opens up a world of possibilities for the child to
child isnít bad. They donít have the language or skill yet to express their
emotional pain or discontent. The childís challenging behavior is most often
an expression of their pain and/or discontent. If we can show empathy,
compassion, mercy and charity, then maybe we can come to better understand what
is troubling to the child. The child experiences us as safe to open up to. This
doesnít mean we necessarily give in to a childís wishes, but being heard and
appreciated is a powerful tonic to distress and discontent.
benefit of attending counseling is to help the parent get in touch with the
childís experience of the childís life. If the child then joinís the
parent in counseling, the parent is supported in providing the child an
experience of parental empathy, compassion, mercy and charity. This enables the
child to feel safe to express themselves.
emphasis is placed on diagnosis, assessing and providing behavioral
interventions. Sometimes what is needed most is connection. Enacting this Jewish
word can provide for that connection.
Jewish word is rachmones.
you see me, I will teach you not only how to say it, but how to show it.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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