Thoughts become Feelings which become our Actions which then become our Behaviors
It all starts with a thought.
I think to myself, dang I like pizza.
And then the thoughts start to get out of control.
I think to myself, I like pizza so much. Pizza isn’t very healthy though, is it? It’s so fattening! I like it so much and I eat it all the time and that’s why I got this big belly.
The thoughts have gotten so out of control that they start to affect my emotions.
I feel so fat and ugly.
Then the feelings start to get out of control.
I am so fat and ugly! I feel like a total loser. Why did I scarf down that whole pizza for dinner? I’m such an idiot!
When the feelings start to get overwhelming I act out on it.
I go on a weight loss program, work out on Saturday for six hours, pull a muscle, and then I lay in bed for all of Sunday.
This is the process by which an action comes about when emotions get out of control. When emotions are out of control, our actions go out of control. Our emotions go out of control because we don’t regulate our thought process.
Seeing as how difficult it is to do as an adult, it becomes magnified for young children. For children, they are still learning to regulate those emotions. We perceive children to be out of control in their wild behaviors, but the action would never occur if they could just keep their emotions in check.
And that’s the hard part isn’t it? With a bit of patience and understanding, a thoughtful and well-meaning adult can really help a child to learn how to deal with their emotions.
This just comes back to the idea that it isn’t about the behavior, it’s about the motivation. Teaching children to identify and self regulate their feelings is simply more effective than focusing on the undesired behavior.