The First and Most Important Step in Addressing Child Mental Health Difficulties and Challenging Behaviour
The I Can Control and Calm Myself Checklist is a simple 14 item tool that we use to assess the starting points when a parent or professional is observing mental health concerns or challenging behaviour.
if you are wanting to see improvements in your child's mental health and behaviour at home or at school then most of the rest of your efforts will come to very little unless you get this key step working well first.
You are the adult and a key part of this role involves creating the conditions in which your child can feel relaxed around you. A child cannot bond easily and relax with an adult who is constantly stressed out or permanently busy or not effective in taking charge of the atmosphere. A child cannot feel safe with an adult who is not willing to really take the lead in creating space for good times together.
So your child needs quality time from key adults that care - and they sometimes also need quantity time.
This can be challenging stuff - you sometimes have to really slow things down - you often have to experiment - what is it that your child enjoys doing with you and that you enjoy doing with them? Start with the twinkle in your eye when you greet your child and then when you need to set a limit, or support them in learning a new skill it will be in the context of them feeling connected with you and sensing that you are on their side.
If you want to learn about the other skills look out for the next post! If you want support in learning how to get this working in your relationship with your child, then click here to take a look at the courses we run
Dr Cathy Betoin
Clinical Psychologist, Teacher and Parent
I Matter Parent Blog
There is nothing more powerful than a parent who takes the trouble to care