How Do You Deal With Complex Children’s Issues?

Ask The Doctor > Children's Health > How Do You Deal With Complex Children’s Issues?

Your children may have difficult issues that you find really hard to cope with. Sometimes you are just not sure what the problem really is. Just what is mild Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Dyslexia, and what sits behind the bullying, and the peer pressure?

Is there something deeper that you are just not noticing because you simply cannot see it? Is your child experiencing personality issues, challenging behavioural issues, or challenges relating to a brain injury? Perhaps you are struggling with a combination of many of these issues and you do not know which way to turn next.

Like so many parents and caregivers, you have most likely been trying to get help for yourself and your child or children for quite some time now, beginning from infancy when the challenges first emerged or perhaps the challenges just suddenly started in their younger years for no apparent or obvious reason.

You may have found some help to deal with the symptoms, to regulate the challenging behaviours, but it just does not seem to be enough. You may be quite frazzled, confused, and just feel like you cannot quite put your finger on the cause. Sound familiar?

It may seem that no-one can really understand, you and your child may feel judged, criticised, and even at times under attack, as you struggle to find some answers. But, what is really going on?

You are not on your own! There are many parents and family members who have tried so hard on their own for many years to deal with their child’s challenging issues, and they too feel like they are just going around in circles. Often, professional help will provide ideas that seem interesting and hold the possibility of success, simply to see these ideas wind down into dead-ends and your child’s behaviour go down the tube with them. It can be very distressing for you and your family to watch your child spiral into increasingly more challenging difficulties when they have not received the help they needed in the first place.

Let us take a closer look at these all too frequently challenging issues and observe them as symptoms, instead of looking upon them as the cause. If ADD and ADHD are symptoms, what is it that they are symptoms of? There is clearly an absence of peace and calmness and the presence of much thinking and doing! What about dyslexia, bullying and peer pressure? Once again there is much confusion, great activity of mind and body, once again an absence of peace and calmness.

Could it be that our children are being highly educated in how to think and how to act, but are falling short in experiences of how to connect to their emotion, their source of love, calmness and peace?

My experience as an international counsellor would indicate that this is true! When faced with a struggling couple relationship, and asking the partners, “How do you connect to a space of love and peace?” The resounding and all too frequent answer, whether the parents are from North America, India or anywhere around the globe, that I receive is, “I do not know!” Now there is a core problem!

When working with families and children who are facing such great challenges as intellectual disability, brain injury, personality disorders, drug use, mental health issues, and just plain old household disruption, once again, when I ask ‘the question’ I receive the same answer, “I don’t know how to connect to peace and love.”

If the absence of time connected to peace and love is a common denominator to all of these complex issues and challenges, then surely this is a good place to start, yet we spend much time trying to stop the behaviour we do not want, and little or no time is spent on creating the behaviour we do want! This is a recipe for insanity and it is working!

So, how do you connect to a space of love? How does your child connect to a space of love? Do you think it is time to find out? Is your method of connecting to peace different to your child’s method or are there similarities? When your child listens to that same song over and over again, do you experience frustration? Or do you experience gratitude because they are connecting to their love and peace?

How do we teach our children to relax, to be accepting, to be more ‘going along’ and more ‘getting along’? How did you learn these skills and turn them into habits? Is there someone you know who is so peaceful and calm and you just wish your life was like that?

To learn peace, calmness and love, teach peace calmness and love, because as you teach it you practice it. Remember the age old saying, practice makes perfect. The more we practice a way of being, the more it becomes habit, and habits eventually become automatic and unconscious, super-fast and faster than we can think. What unconscious tapes are your children playing? Are they like your tapes too? If not, where did they learn them? Was it at school, from a friend, passed down from a grandparent genetically?

It really does not matter where the dysfunctional habit came from. The fact is that the tapes are disruptive to your peace and to the peace of your children and they need to stop! How do you stop a super-fast habit? The answer is that you can’t, but you can start creating new habits that will become the new super-fast unconscious tapes of the future!

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Dr. Jimmy Obaji M.D.

Dr. Jimmy Obaji completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of Manitoba. He currently operates a walk-in-clinic in downtown Toronto.

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