Dr. Megan Just-Mancini shares how we can A.C.E. not just parenting, but navigating the current state of the world.
“All behavior is an expression of a need.”
Megan is a Registered Psychologist who supports individuals and families affected by mental health-related challenges. She has experience working with diverse groups in the United States and Canada in educational, in-patient, out-patient, and private care settings.
Breath Exercise - Find the Gap
Focus on the space, the gap, between your inhalation and exhalation. Taking time to attune to your kids’ emotions can save you time (and your sanity) and teaches them to self-regulate.
1. Reward systems have value, but if they aren’t working for you, maybe it’s time to try something different
2. Words are powerful – are you using language that is stigmatizing?
3. We all have basic needs as hypothesized by Self Determination Theory (see Deci & Ryan):
· Autonomy (“I can do this on my own”)
· Competence (“I’ve got the ability to do this”)
· Relatedness (“I am unconditionally loved no matter what and I can reciprocate that love”)
4. If needs are not met, people will act in a way to try to get them met
5. When you fill needs, you promote emotional regulation and inhibitory control and reduce undesirable behaviors
6. Think about behaviors on a continuum (undesirable to more desirable)
7. Think about parenting on a continuum (less to more growth-orientated) rather than good/bad
8. Tough days happen, it’s OK! just hit the nail on the head 30% or more of the time ("good enough parenting")
10. I can ACE parenting:
· A = Attunement. Being able to connect with your child’s needs (and yours!). Look underneath the behavior, then validate the emotion so you fill their love cup and model self-regulation.
· C = Consistency and predictability. How you respond most of the time (no one is perfect!). This creates a safe haven for your kids.
· E = Empathy. Be empathic to the child and yourself! Just try your best.
11. If you mess up (it happens) - repair it. All parties need to be calm. Then sit, share, and LISTEN. Take responsibility - this sends the message: We can screw up as a family, but we have unconditional love and we can come back together and move beyond this.
12. Do you have COVID-related compassion? Does the world look different when you know that all behavior is an expression of a need?
Connect with Megan: megan@SOJO.ca
Megan Just-Mancini’s Doc Project: Parenting practices that promote early childhood inhibitory control and emotional regulation