Going back to Socrates we have this idea that most people are doing the best they can, that almost nobody does the wrong thing on purpose. No, they’re doing what they think is right, what they’re capable of doing in the moment.
Why should this be any different with your kids? You think they want to underperform in school? That they want to let you down? That they want to have behavioral issues? Of course not.
When we interviewed Dr. William Stixrud and Ned Johnson about their book, The Self-Driven Child, they paraphrased an idea from Dr. Ross Greene that’s worth committing to memory: Kids do well when they can.
When kids are set up for success, they succeed. When it’s possible for them to do what you want for them, what is best for them, they do. If you don’t believe that…then what is it exactly that you do believe about your kids?
The reason they’re struggling, the reason they’re acting out, the reason things are fraught…is because things aren’t right. They’re tired. They don’t understand. They’re sick. They’re scared. They don’t know better yet. They aren’t old enough yet. They aren’t perfect. They can’t do the impossible.
Understand this. Commit this to your memory as a parent…and help accordingly.