A World View on Family Matters and Child-First Thinking

A primary guideline of Family Matters and Child-First Thinking is the protection and enhancement of a child or teens self-esteem. This emphasis on protection of self-esteem directs the parent to look first at the child’s world, to determine if it is a positive place for growth. This ‘world evaluation’ shows an understanding and concern for the meaning behind the behavior of the child.

Parents and caregivers who are sensitive to a ‘world view’ recognize that behavioral problems may be the child’s way of dealing with ineffective or hostile environments. Remember, a basic purpose of all behavior is protection from discomfort and threat. The behavior of younger children is often a direct expression of their immediate need for comfort and protection. As children become older and more verbal, they are more able to express their reactions with words and rely lesson behavior to communicate their needs. Monitoring your words and actions can help to reduce behavioral problems before they arise.

Key Points on Child-First Thinking:

Everything a child does has a basic purpose in protecting his or her discomfort or increasing pleasure. Most new behavior is learned through observation of a model in the child’s world. Direct teaching and the unfolding of natural development are other ways in which a child acquires new behaviors. Be a positive model, monitor your actions and reactions to behavioral problems.

Behavior is most easily learned when taught to a child who is developmentally ready to learn the new behavior. Child-First Thinking looks at the child’s readiness to learn as one element that ‘sets the stage’ for growth.

Self-esteem is difficult to develop and too easily injured. Effective parents try to stay aware of the impact of events and actions on their child’s view of himself. All behavior is a product of the child’s biology as it reacts to the child’s world. A positive model can do wonders for a child’s development.

Be aware, ask, “How will this activity, reaction, or situation affect my child’s self-esteem?”

Factors That Affect Your Child

The Biological World:  How do biological conditions affect your child?
The Physical World: How do physical conditions affect your child?
The Time World: How do time conditions affect your child?
Social Environment: How do social conditions affect your child?

Family matters and child first thinking preserves and models family health and wellness. It maintains all family members self-esteem and develops healthy children and teens.

– by Frank Doberman, PhD

Dr. Frank Doberman is Co-Founder of Karner Psychological Associates (KPA) and is a leader in the fields of clinical psychology, is a Licensed Psychologist, Certified in School Psychology, Educational Administration and is a regular contributor to News 10 WTEN.

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