We all know this story very well. And we may even think that our children are the only ones that act out this often, or on this level.
Don’t fear, your children are not the only ones.
Each child has their reasons for misbehavior or moments where they just can’t hold it together anymore and they act out. It’s part of childhood.
Have you asked your parents recently about your childhood misbehavior? I’m sure they have some stories to share that might make it seem that there’s a bit of karma at play … 🙂
After all, we are all human and cannot be perfect. Nor should we be!
Life today can be so busy and stressful, all of us feel frayed at the edges from time to time, including our children. Before you reprimand them for their behavior, however, let’s take a step back to better understand where they’re coming from and WHY they are acting out.
Here are some things to ask yourself before jumping to nagging or yelling when your child misbehaves. (There are a lot more, but these are some of the most common)
- Are they experiencing different sets of expectations between school and home?
Sometimes we forget to think or ask about what expectations or interactions they have at school and assume that they are only dealing with the expectations we set for them. This is far from the truth. Talking to them about their day, their friends, their teachers, their school work, and how they feel about all of it can open a lot of doors.
- Do they understand the rules, or are they held to expectations that are beyond their developmental levels?
We often times have rules and expectations in our head, but we don’t communicate them clearly. We just expect our children to get it and know what we want. Instead, state clear as day what the rules are and what you expect from them. Write it out on paper, create a print out and hang it up as the house rules so there’s no room for misunderstanding.
- Do they feel ill, bored, hungry or sleepy?
When our kids are acting out, the last thing we usually go to is that they aren’t feeling well or getting their basic needs met. But kids communicate hunger, sickness, sleepiness, etc. through whining, complaining and misbehaving. And it’s often an easy fix with a good meal or a good night’s rest!
- Are they copying the actions of their parents?
WE don’t want to turn the finger on ourselves when it’s our children acting out. The truth is though, kids mirror behavior they observe. When your child starts misbehaving, stop and think about your own actions and be aware of how you react to situations. Could it be possible they learned the behavior from you?
That last one is especially powerful, isn’t it? Maybe a bit cringe-worthy? Do our own actions influence our children? Of course! So let’s be conscious of how we are behaving as well to be the best role model we can be for our children.
By better understanding what can be triggering the acting out in our children, we can approach the situation differently when it happens. For example, instead of reacting by yelling or nagging at them for their behavior, maybe we pause, take a deep breath and talk to them calmly to find out where this behavior is really coming from.eave a comment on my blog, and let me know what behavior your child struggles with and how you will work to better understand the root of that behavior.
Leave a comment below, and let me know what behavior your child struggles with and how you will work to better understand the root of that behavior.
Until next time,