One of the hardest things for us to deal with as parents is when our children misbehave, especially when they have always been good children before.
It is important that we take the time to understand why our children are acting out, rather than simply getting angry at them and punishing them for their actions.
Sure, they may need to be punished if their behavior is less than ideal, but punishing them alone won’t help us to understand and if we don’t understand, we can’t help them to improve their behavior.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons your child might be misbehaving:
They need you to meet some need
Often, when a child acts out it is because they need something from you but they are not able to articulate that to you.
For example, if a child is hungry, they may start to get cranky and act up, and simply providing them with some food will solve the issue. If they are bored they might start to be naughty, something which can be remedied by talking to them or playing a fun little game to keep them occupied.
They have a hearing issue
Many parents do not realize that hearing loss can cause children to do things like ignore instructions or do badly at school, but it is much more common than you might think.
In this case, understanding hearing loss and how it affects your child, and finding the right treatment for them, is likely to result in an immediate improvement in behavior, so don’t rule it out, especially if they tend to ignore what you are saying, turn the TV up loud, and things like that.
They want attention
Sometimes, children misbehave because they want our attention and they have learned it is much easier to get it by being naughty than it is by being good.
This can be difficult to deal with, but simply ignoring the behavior as best you can and issuing a negative consequence without causing a fuss can work well because they do not get the “reward” of you trying to reason with them. Even shouting at a child who is being naughty can satisfy their need for attention, so disengagement is key.
Oh, and work on making sure you give them enough time each day where you can chat, play, and bond together as they are less likely to crave negative attention if they feel secure in their relationship with you.
They don’t understand the rules
You might think the rules you have set out are simple, but young children do not always grasp concepts as well as we think they do and they may simply end up “misbehaving” because they don’t know they should be doing otherwise.
Try to be clear and use age-appropriate language that they will understand.
Now you know some of the most common reasons why children misbehave, it should be easier for you to understand your own child and help them to improve their behavior right now.