You have probably been exposed to Maslows hierarchy of needs at some point in your life. This motivation theory outlines how individuals strive first for physical and emotional safety. Included in the lower ring of needs are freedom from fear, love, and acceptance. Upon some reflection, this has huge behavioral implications. I have learned over the course of many painful parenting years that although I treat it as such, making good choices is not at the base of Maslows hierarchy.
Unfortunately, as a parent, I have a proclivity for addressing behavioral issues as soon as I see my child, which does not always yield the results I would like. Did you turn in the note? Have you asked your teacher about that assignment? Have you thought about how you are going to handle that? My task-master inclination sends the message that the task is more important than my child. Follow me on this When my child has made good choices, we smile and move on with our day. However, when he has made poor choices, a black cloud of disappointment and lecture ensues. I dont mean to, but I wonder how often I send the message that my love is conditional upon his behavioral choices.
Parents, dont ask your child about his or her behavior immediately after school. This is a regular problem occurring in the car door line. When you do this, it puts your child and his or her teacher in a very difficult position. You dont want your child having a bad day and then dreading going home to face more of the same. Remember? freedom from fear love… acceptance? You can always address issues at a later time, such as after dinner or right before bed. If the love is truly unconditional, our relationship has to trump poor behavioral choices, and our interactions should reflect this.