web analytics
November 27, 2014 / 5 Kislev, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post
IDC Herzliya Campus A Day on Campus

To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.



A King’s Ransom To Keep Him Happy


Schonfeld-logo1

Psychologists have identified two forms of insatiability—material and experiential—that greatly interfere with attention control. Children with experiential insatiability are extremely hard to satisfy. School-related routines such as processing information and producing written work do not quell their appetites for intense experiences. In their frustration, at what feels to them like stultifying boredom, they are likely to pick fights and generate noise and commotion. They may become serious behavior problems.

Avi showed symptoms of both material and experiential insatiability. And he had maneuvered himself into a position at home where he had his parents feeding his insatiability in their mistaken notion that they were working at controlling it.

Some children who crave excitement satisfy these needs in constructive ways: bicycle riding, swimming, rollerblading, skateboarding, or developing and pursuing a hobby or passionate interest. For Avi, athletic activity or hobbies were not enough. He needed things, the flashier the better.

Children with insatiable needs long for material gratification so intensely, they seem unable to delay gratification. They can wear their parents down with their incessant—and insistent—needs. They often have trouble taking turns, sharing with others and waiting in line—behavior that often triggers animosity from classmates and siblings.

Insatiability during childhood, if channeled properly, can develop into healthy ambition and goal-oriented activity in adult life. However, it also carries a potentially dangerous side effect, one that could culminate in substance abuse, reckless driving, impulsivity, and risk taking. In some adults, it manifests in marital instability and problems feeling comfortable and satisfied in a career.

Home Is Not A Democracy

Many children who manifest insatiability and are very articulate become extremely argumentative at home. Often by an early age they can outdebate their parents as they present their arguments for getting their way. Impressed with their own eloquence, they believe that scoring points in an argument entitles them to whatever it is they are lobbying for.

Experts in family dynamics say that allowing a child to flex his intellectual muscles and debating skills in arguments with his parents is inevitably destructive.

It is important to get the message across to children as early in life as possible that the home is not a democracy, and that parents are the decision-makers.

Parents should be alert, say education specialists, to the dangers of overindulging insatiable children with material possessions. The inclination to provide excessively stimulating daily experiences to children with insatiable tendencies should be consciously reined in.

“Parents should avoid a constant succession of planned recreational activities, shopping trips, and super stimulating electronic games,” says author and psychologist Dr. Mel Levine in his book on attention dysfunction, Educational Care.

He goes on to say that parents who fall into this pattern will soon be paying a king’s ransom for a few moments of peace and quiet in the house. Ultimately, the stakes will be raised even higher as the insatiable child learns he can hold his parents hostage with bad behavior until he wheedles out of them just about everything he wants.

Far from curbing incessant demands, says Dr. Levine, “the constant feeding of an insatiable appetite merely increases the level of a child’s insatiability.”

Children who are highly insatiable may require careful, ongoing counseling to help them bring them under control.

One technique that has proven effective is practicing conscious delay and substitution processes. This teaches a child to postpone gratification and substitute something else when he or she cannot attain a goal. One method of delay is to reward the child with what he desires only after he has remained focused on some other necessary activity.

Another method is to designate specific times during the day during which children can talk about things they want to have or do, and to some degree have their needs met. These children should be drawn into mature discussion about other possibilities that will be nearly as satisfying as the object of their intense desire.

Taking The Reins

In Avi’s case, when limits were first set to his prize winning, intense reactivity set in. His negative behavior plunged to new depths, as he tried the old methods of manipulation and found they no longer worked. Avi’s parents received counseling to learn how to enforce limits while practicing delay and substitution techniques. They rode out Avi’s angry outbursts and his attempts to destabilize the atmosphere at home, and raised the bar for earning rewards for good behavior.

Gradually, Avi’s acting out lessened as he came to terms with the “new management” and his behavior began to turn the corner.

Over time and with guidance, Avi’s parents learned to recognize and resist the manipulation behind their son’s habitual wheedling, and insistent bargaining for things he wanted. They learned to cut short arguments and debates and to stand firm behind their decisions.

Today, almost a year later, Avi’s insatiability—and its fallout on his ability to focus his attention and process information in school—has not been “cured,” but it has been reduced and brought under control.

About the Author: An acclaimed educator and education consultant, Mrs. Rifka Schonfeld has served the Jewish community for close to thirty years. She founded and directs the widely acclaimed educational program, SOS, servicing all grade levels in secular as well as Hebrew studies. A kriah and reading specialist, she has given dynamic workshops and has set up reading labs in many schools. In addition, she offers evaluations G.E.D. preparation,, social skills training and shidduch coaching, focusing on building self-esteem and self-awareness. She can be reached at 718-382-5437 or at rifkaschonfeld@verizon.net. Visit her on the web at rifkaschonfeldsos.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “A King’s Ransom To Keep Him Happy”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Ferguson, Missouri: rioting against racism, encouraging murder
The Foul Stench of the Ferguson Fallout
Latest Sections Stories
Rabbi Maurice Lamm

Creativity without clarity is not sufficient for writing. I am eternally thankful to Hashem for his gift to me.

Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Sometimes the most powerful countermove one can make when a person is screaming is to calmly say that her behavior is not helpful and then continue interacting with the rest of the family while ignoring the enraged person.

“Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples shall divide within you.”

Divorce from a vindictive, cruel spouse can be a lifelong nightmare when there are offspring.

There were many French Jews who jumped at the chance to shed their ancient identity and assimilate.

As Rabbi Shemtov stood on the stage and looked out at the attendees, he told them that “Rather than take photos with your cellphones, take a mental photo and keep this Shabbat in your mind and take it with you throughout your life.”

Yeshiva v’Kollel Bais Moshe Chaim will be holding a grand celebration on the occasion of the institution’s 40th anniversary on Sunday evening, December 7. Alumni, students, friends and faculty of the yeshiva, also known as Talmudic University of Florida, will celebrate the achievement and vision of its founders and the spiritual guidance of its educational […]

The yeshiva night accommodates all levels of Jewish education.

Recently, Fort Lauderdale has been the focus of international news, and it has not been about the wonderful weather.

Rabbi Sacks held the position of chief rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth for 22 years until September 2013.

The event included a dvar Torah by student Pesach Bixon, an overview of courses, information about student life and a student panel that answered frequently asked questions from a student perspective.

It is difficult to write about such a holy person, for I fear I will not accurately portray his greatness…

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

This core idea of memory is very difficult to fully comprehend; however, it is essential.

Schonfeld-logo1

Do you love your children? Of course, who doesn’t? Maybe I should rephrase the question: Do your children feel that you love them?

“Without a high school diploma, you couldn’t work as a garbage collector in New York City; you couldn’t join the Air Force. Yet a quarter of our kids still walked out of high school and never came back.”
– Amanda Ridley

Avromi often put other people’s interests before his own: he would not defend people whom he believed were guilty (even if they were willing to pay him a lot of money).

Social disabilities occur at many levels, but experts identify three different areas of learning and behavior that are most common for children who struggle to create lasting social connections.

Brown argues that this wholehearted living must extend into our parenting.

This is an important one in raising a mentsch (and maybe even in marrying off a mentsch! listening skills are on the top of the list when I do shidduch coaching).

Children with dyslexia or dysgraphia frequently have problems in social relationships.

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/sections/family/parenting-our-children/a-kings-ransom-to-keep-him-happy/2012/04/15/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: