Friday, November 2, 2012

HALT! Four reasons your child misbehaves.

You would think that a kid who was so excited about being a rocket ship for Halloween would let me take a million photos of him wearing his costume. 
I had to beg him to let me take just one photo and this is what he gives me...he practically is taking it off before I can even snap the shot.
However, we had a lovely Halloween.

I've been busy at a Play Therapy Conference and will talk more about that later. 
But I thought I would share with you a little reminder I had as a parent yesterday. When our child misbehaves, our first response as a parent is to stop the behavior. But as parents we ourselves have to HALT and look through the eyes of a child. Children usually act out because they are one or more of these four things:
H- hungry
A- angry
T- tired

I had an experience yesterday where little man had a HUGE melt down. The reason being that the chocolate he had in his hands melted and he was sad that he didn't get a chance to eat it. Well, that is what he was telling me. But I knew he was coming from a place of hunger, tiredness, anger, and loneliness. He has missed his nap that day, filled himself with candy, and it had been a long day out of our usual routine where he needed some time to reconnect with me.
And let me tell you, it probably took a good 30 minutes of uncontrollable crying and some play before he felt better. Luckily dad was there to help out.

If we would have become upset and told him to get over it- how do you think he would have been left feeling? Would any of his needs have been met with that response?

How do I act when I am hungry, angry, lonely, or tired?

Just something to think about this weekend.


P.S. Winner for the giveaway has been announced. Congratulations Deveney!


  1. Great advice. I would also add, based on personal experience and some great things I've read, that sometimes a reaction to control your child's behavior is just about yourself, not the child. Pride, embarrassment, rules our parents had (that may have been arbitrary or unfair but become unconsciously engrained) etc. So yes, please, HALT and think before reacting (I am only slowly getting better at this after years of trying.)

    1. Thanks Kerri- It is such a great reminder!