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          What You Need to Know about Your Child’s Behavior Away from Home

          November 18, 2002

          Lani says that at home, her son, Mason, avoids conflict,and is a “mommy’s boy.” but when alone with other children, he began spitting at the other kids, making them cry, and even attacked one girl with a doll!

          Are you aware of how your child behaves when you’re not around? Are you concerned that he or she might be acting one way at home, and completely differently with others? Dr. Phil has this advice for all parents, regardless of whether or not your child has behavior problems:

          Don’t Be Naïve.
          Parents rarely see their children as they truly are, and children are more likely to follow their parents’ values while at home. While your child may be acting fine in any situation, the sooner you realize that he or she may not be perfect, the sooner you’ll be able to help your child with all of his/her behaviors, not just the ones you see.

          Know What’s Going on Behind-the-Scenes.
          While you can’t supervise your children 24 hours a day, you can be in regular communication with the other adults who interact with them. Talk to other parents who have your kids over as guests, and talk to teachers and caregivers. Remember, they’re your best resource for monitoring out-of-the-house behavior.

          Put Yourself in a Position to See Your Child in a Separate Environment.
          If possible, try to arrange a situation when you can watch your child when they don’t know that you’re there. This may be difficult to arrange and doesn’t need to be repeated regularly, but there will be nothing like seeing your child on his/her own with your own eyes!

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