Hugging and the “difficult child”

A lot more parents are complaining that their children are being difficult. The ‘difficult’ bug seems to have hit most children and parents are no longer knowing how to handle this situation.

The ‘difficult’ child referred to here is sometimes only difficult at home. In these cases, he/she manages to pull themselves together at school but then disintegrates upon entering their house. This is some comfort for the parents who are at least spared the agony of public shame, but they still feel helpless, overwhelmed and miserable at home in having to deal with disobedience, tantrums, endless demands or other unpleasant behaviors.

Some complaints include challenging behaviors such as physical aggression and rage, sluggish job at chores, disobedience, lying, stealing, rudeness and frequent interruptions, homework resistance, destruction of property, inappropriate behavior in public, sexual acting out, swearing and cursing,  refusal to eat, sarcasm and lack of boundaries.
Parents want to hear from teachers about how clever or well behaved their child is but when they hear words like “he/she has trouble settling down” or “he upsets other children and finds it hard to be organized for class work”, their heart literally sinks.

That you may have raised a “good” kid will not guarantee that the next child  will be “good” and vice versa. Usually, you may find that it has more to do with your own temperament in dealing with the particular child that has aroused the difficulty in that child. Acknowledging that some children are harder to parent is often helpful. To label a child ‘difficult’ has the danger of becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy.

The secret of parenting a difficult child is to give loads of hugs and stop being angry so you can go past the hurts into healing.

According to Nancy Thomas, an attachment parenting expert “human beings need eight hugs a day to maintain emotional stability; wounded children need twelve hugs a day for emotional healing.”

Here are some more suggestions:
  • find a therapist or counselor who understands the dynamics of difficult children and follow instructions.
  • require your child to be respectful and polite in his words and manners. Hold no discussion until the difficult child learns to defer to authority.
  • when a child is highly charged, the parent must step back and learn to be calm in the chaos. The child needs to understand that you know how to remain calm in an upsetting situation.
  • Allow the difficult child to experience natural consequences of his bad decisions. However, natural consequences have some limits. The safety of the child is more important. Thus, logical consequences are the next strategies for effective parenting. For every damage inflicted on property, the difficult child must be prepared to repay it back. It can be in monetary form or in extra chores. 
  • use positive words and thoughts always as you do away with all negative thoughts and words. Thoughts become things.
HUG THEM AT LEAST 12 TIMES A DAY! You will be pleasantly shocked. If they refuse, be certain you have scored points in their hearts that you truly care for them as the process of healing is taking place.

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  1. This is very enlightening, my son is soooo stubborn, he wants to have his way all the time, and as stated above I always get angry when he starts his tantrums, especially now that I’m pregnant, I just want to be left alone, I’ll try the hug method, I really hope it works.

  2. It will work Jay! Try to be consistent as it may seem awkward at the beginning if he refuses but consistency will make him convinced all the same. I have done it and it is magical.

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