Children act out and behave badly all the time. Dealing with this type of behavior is a part of life for all families large or small. But as a parent, you cannot effectively deal with a child’s behavior issues unless you can determine what their cause is. Some conflicts have simple reasons and resolutions—a child who hits their sibling after they’ve has a toy taken from them is clearly responding directly to their siblings interference.
Resolving the situation should be easy because you can address both the cause of the behavior and the behavior itself. A child who displays a pattern of misbehavior such as whiney attention seeking or a sudden tendency to talk back may be more difficult to deal with in the long run. The solution is to look for a root cause. Once you have found it and addressed it, you and your child can move on to the next challenge.
Experts suggest that there are several root causes for common types of misbehaviors. These are as follows:
• The Desire for Attention—Children seek attention and when they don’t get it, they learn to seek negative attention instead.
• The Desire for Power—Children are some of the most powerless members of society. Their lives are completely out of control and sometimes they just want to feel like they have power over something.
• The Lack of Self Confidence—Children who lack self confidence don’t misbehave in order to be bad, but to reinforce their inability to accomplish required tasks.
There are many other reasons why your child might choose to act out, of course. There are almost as many reasons as there are individuals, but these three offer a baseline for you to compare your child to. In each case, the solution is clear once you have determined the exact problem. A child that seeks attention should be taught to that you will respond to positive and not negative behavior.
A child that wants power can be given some. Just offer them choices of their own instead of mandates from on high. An example might be giving your child a choice of shirts rather than telling them it is time to get dressed. A child who lacks self-confidence must be encouraged and bolstered into discovering their own merits.
Experts suggest that the real solution to misbehavior is your behavior. You should make an effort to spend a reasonable amount of quality time with your child each day. Do things that they like to do, talk about the subjects that they are interested in, and just take the time to listen to them. This kind of focused attention allows you to really get to know your child and the things that are going on in their lives.
Armed with this information and the deeper bond you and your child have been fostering, you will be much better equipped to solve any problems that arise. Most importantly, you will be providing your child with the love and attention that they need to grow and thrive.