Children and adults, for that matter, often don’t have insight into their motivations. Ask “what” instead.
“Why” focuses on the people involved. “What” focuses on the whole situation.
By asking the “what” question, you’ll get more information to help you “pull the thread” on the “why” and help Tom understand how he gets into trouble so much.
By helping him put together the sequence of events that led him to punch his sister, Tom might be able to make different choices next time. You just might find out that sister Katie is deviously provoking him and setting him up for trouble. Or, you may find that his social skills and perhaps his impulse control are truly lacking.
Make it easier for kids to evaluate their behavior and to have a positive outcome. They need to both learn about the reasons for their behavior and be accountable for it.
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