web analytics
March 29, 2015 / 9 Nisan, 5775
At a Glance
Sections
Sponsored Post


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.

Current Top Story
18,000 Iranian Centrifuges
Netanyahu Warns Iran-Yemen-Nuclear Deal Axis ‘Dangerous to Humanity’ [video]
Latest Sections Stories
Neuman-Rabbi-M-Gary

Are we allowed to lie for shalom bayis? It would seem so, but what might be a healthy guideline for when it’s okay and when it’s not?

book-To-Fill-The-Sky-With-Stars

The connection between what I experienced as a high school teenager and the adult I am today did not come easy to me.

Respler-032715

Isn’t therapy about being yourself; aren’t there different ways for people to communicate with each other?

South-Florida-logo

Jack was awarded a blue and gold first-place trophy, appropriately topped off with a golden bee.

Participating in ManiCures during the school day may feel like a break from learning, but the intended message to the students was loud and clear. Learning and chesed come in all forms, and can be fun.

Building campaign chairman Jack Gluck has led the effort over many years.

When using an extension cord always make sure to use the correct rated extension cord.

There was no question that when Mrs. Cohen entered the room to meet the teacher she was hostile from the outset.

Szold was among the founders and leaders (she served on its executive committee) of Ichud (“Unity”), a political group that campaigned against the creation of an independent, sovereign Jewish state in Eretz Yisrael.

My friend is a strong and capable Jewish woman, but she acted with a passivity that seemed out of character.

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

First, sit down with your helpers and a pen and paper and break the jobs down into small parts.

More Articles from Rifka Schonfeld
Schonfeld-logo1

“If you don’t stand straight, you’ll never get a husband.”

Schonfeld-logo1

A lot of people have heard about dyslexia, a learning disability that concerns reading.

Because birth order can affect most children in similar fashion, there are things you can do to help your children overcome weaknesses that birth order has thrown their way.

Occasionally, a teacher will encounter a student who simply cannot be motivated to do his homework, finish his worksheet or study for a test.

There is a point that many parenting books miss: children do more for us than we do for them.

Tutor. Counselor. The doctor too,
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with you.

Pioneering authors Peg Dawson and Richard Guare, in their book Executive Skills in Children and Adolescents, outline the ways that we employ executive skills regularly.

Because I get phone calls about this all the time, I have put together a quick “cheat sheet” with milestones for reading, writing, and math from first grade through high school.

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: