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Child's Feelings and Needs Chart
by Genevieve Simperingham
Editor's Note from Angela McCoy: Fantastic quick reference guide that may help you resolve issues quicker. Genevieve offers a lovely list that I think can be very beneficial, especially if you are a parent implementing new techniques in your parenting style. I love this chart and wish I had it when I was a new mom.
This chart gives some pointers that can be a quick reminder of some of the feelings that may be driving certain behaviours and furthermore some of the possible unmet needs that need to gain attention before the child can begin to feel better, hence act better. This can also be useful in helping a parent to re-frame a challenging situation when the parent becomes emotionally charged and has the urge to choose actions that escalate a situation.
This chart is not intended to be diagnostic in any way or to replace seeking professional help when needed, especially when a child’s behaviour fits with the behaviours described in the first box most of the time. Most children will display a whole array of behaviours and perhaps some from each box in the first column most weeks or even most days.
But if your child’s behaviour is in the more extreme much of the time, I would recommend you seek professional help. You can book a consultation with me to talk it all through and gain some strategies to work with and if I feel that it could be helpful to have your child accessed with a child psychologist, I will let you know.You may also wish to look into environemental factors like diet.
Many parents and teachers find that adopting this lens helps them move from the very stuck approach of trying to make a child change their ways, to begining to explore how the child may be feeling and what they may be needing. When a parent adopts this more compassionate and creative approach, it tends to lead them down a whole new way of relating and to many factors that are contributing to the problems that they may not have otherwise seen.
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About the Author
Among other things, Genevieve is a Certified Aware Parenting instructor, having trained with Dr. Aletha Solter PhD, psychologist and author of four ground breaking parenting books. Dr.Solter is the founder of the Aware Parenting Institute, who have over 65 instructors in over 15 countries, Genevieve being the only one in New Zealand. Genevieve is also a Heart to Heart Parenting Facilitator, trained by Robin Grille to teach his Heart to Heart parenting program. Robin Grille is a psychologist and psychotherapist based in Sydney, Australia and is the author of "Parenting for a Peaceful World" and "Heart to Heart Parenting" Genevieve is also a Beyond Consequences Instructor, sharing the work of Heather Forbes, psychologist, author and founder of Beyond Consequences Institute, whose books are particularly supportive to parents whose children exhibit extreme behavioural difficulties relating to a trauma history.