5 Reasons Why Your Child Is Misbehaving
We have all been there. That time when your child has the monster of all meltdowns in public, or simply will NOT do what you ask while visiting a friend’s house.
There are no perfect children nor are there any perfect parents. There is no magic solution to your child misbehaving and that is because it is a perfectly normal stage of development.
Want to know why your child misbehaves? Because they are learning. It is that simple. Learning about the world around them, about boundaries and how to push them and also learning about themselves.
If you try to remember that little ones are just learning how to behave it can make the misbehaving a little easier to manage.
Little ones also use their behaviour to show how they’re feeling and to try and vocalise how they’re feeling. Unfortunately, children don’t have the mental maturity to say “I am finding this very overwhelming” so they act out.
They only way they know how to try and verbalise what they are feeling at that moment.
When determining what strategy to use, consider the possible underlying cause for the behaviour problem.
1. Attention seeking
Have you ever been on the phone only for your little ones to start acting up. When parents talk on the phone, visit friends or family, or are otherwise occupied, children feel left out. And throwing a tantrum, whining, or fighting with a sibling is a great way to attract your attention.
Even if it’s negative attention, kids still crave it. Ignoring it is one of the best ways to deal with attention-seeking behaviours.
Children learn how to behave by watching others. Whether they see a sibling or a friend misbehave or it’s something they’ve seen on TV, little ones will repeat it.
Limit your kids' exposure to aggressive behaviour on TV, in video games, and in real life. Role model healthy behaviour to teach your child the appropriate way to behave in various situations.
3. They can’t control their emotions
Children’s brains are not nearly as developed as ours. They may become easily overwhelmed when they feel angry, and as a result, they may become aggressive.
They may even act out when they feel excited, stressed, or bored. Kids need to learn healthy ways to deal with feelings such as sadness, disappointment, frustration, and anxiety.
Remember they are just learning. Teach your little one about feelings and show them healthy ways to manage their emotions to prevent them from misbehaving.
4. They're testing their boundaries
When you’ve established rules and told children what they’re not allowed to do, they often want to see if you’re serious. They test limits just to find out what the consequences will be if they break the rules. Again, they’re learning.
Try to set some clear boundaries and stick to it. If children think they might get away with something chances are they will try and test it.
If you show them there will be a negative consequence each time they break a rule they will soon learn to respect your rules and boundaries.
5. They just don’t have the skills yet
Sometimes behaviour problems stem from a lack of skills. A child who lacks social skills may hit another child because he wants to play with a toy. They just don’t have the understanding or vocabulary to say “Can I have a turn now?”
A child who lacks problem-solving skills may not clean his room because he isn’t sure what to do when his toys don’t fit in the toy box.
When your child misbehaves, instead of just giving them a consequence, teach them what to try instead. Show them alternatives to misbehaviour so they can learn from their mistakes.
Laura Doyle, mum of 4. Kyle 9, Noa Belle 4, Briar 2 and Milla 12 months. Breastfeeder, co-sleeper, coffee drinker. Staying positive and inspired by the chaos of it all. Follow her on Instagram.