Following on from last weeks blog and all that I’ve been involved in between then and now, I’m almost too excited to stay in my chair typing this for you, although I seem to have manifested what feels like a cold.

Last week in which I had a great time meeting up with like minded people I remember we got onto the topic of behaviour patterns and learnt responses. As this then reminded me of a client who’s child had been scratching faces I thought I’d share a little of it with you….An 18 month old child kept on scratching people on the face often drawing blood when saying hello to them. It has to be said at this stage, that he was the first of a new generation of a very large extended family, and therefore deeply loved and admired by all who met him.  I asked the parents what they did when saying hello to him and their response was that they say hello, pick him up and give him a kiss and squeeze his cheek, this was also repeated by the whole of the extended family whenever they saw him, the squeezing of the cheek being very much a cultural response to greeting children.  I suggested that this was the root of the problem as he was trying to mimic their greeting but was not able to form the squeeze reflex, so the nearest he could reproduce to mimic the squeeze was to perform a scratch reflex instead and after all, he was only trying to show them that he loved them back, it was not meant with any malice intended!

The parents stopped the squeezing of the cheek and also asked, in a very nice way for visitors to stop this too, soon after the scratching stopped. This was a very quick issue to resolve but at the time quite distressing for the parents to deal with, as you can imagine Granny’s response whenever she got a loving scratch on the cheek!!!

This to me is a perfect example of a very innocent “learnt response”, particularly as it was the result of loving behaviour to a young child from his family, but once again highlights how easily children can misinterpret actions as well as words.

Remember that you can always contact me if you have a very specific challenge that you are facing – you are not alone, help and understanding is only an email away.

I will leave you with a thought for the week ahead – what are the three funniest ways of saying hello that you have experienced?  I’ll be sharing my top three from your feedback with you all next week.

With much love and appreciation,

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