Why Children Misbehave

Misbehaviour is evident in many people, and children are not exempt. Still, an understanding of why they misbehave will go a long way in helping parents and parent-partners in curtailing, if not stopping, completely misbehavior in the lives of children. The reason behind children's misbehavior is as follows:

📌They lack life skills.

Sometimes behavior emanates from a lack of life skills. A child who lacks problem-solving skills may leave his assignment because he does not know how to go about it. When your child misbehaves, instead of just giving a consequence, teach them alternatives to misbehavior so that they can learn from their mistakes. What you don't have, you can't give. If you don't have the right social skills, you can't give the children the environment to develop such skills. Your behaviors are the first skills your children will learn.

📌They have big emotions.

Children use their behavior to show how they are feeling and what they are thinking. Often they are communicating something through their behaviors that they aren't necessarily able to verbalize.

Sometimes children have no idea what to do about their feelings. They may become easily overwhelmed when they feel angry and, as a result, become aggressive. They may even act out when they feel excited, stressed, or bored. Children need to learn healthy ways to deal with feelings such as sadness, happiness, disappointment, frustration, and anxiety.

Teach children about feelings and show them healthy ways to manage their emotions to prevent them from misbehaving. When they have better control over their emotions, they can use healthy coping skills to deal with their feelings. Instead of misbehaving to express their emotions, they may learn to take time out to calm down. Again don't forget that they learn basically by modeling; teaching emotional intelligence and management skill won't be enough; they must see it in your life too. 

📌They have unmet needs.

Misbehavior often ensues when a child feels hungry, tired, or ill. Most toddlers and preschoolers aren't good at communicating what they need; as a result, they often use their behavior to show that they have unmet needs. You can help prevent behavior problems by looking for unmet needs. A toddler who is crying may have the following needs; wants to sleep, needs to have his diaper changed, is hungry, thirsty, and so on. If you can't meet a child's need, don't ignore the child; start a conversation and explain to him why you can't meet that need at the time. If you ignore a child and his needs, you may force the child to meet them in the wrong way.

📌The desire to exercise power and control.

A need for power and control often contributes to misbehavior. Sometimes defiant and argumentative behavior results when a child attempts to exercise control. When behavior problems result from a child's attempt to have control over a situation, a power struggle may ensue. One way to avoid this is to offer a child two choices; for example, ask, "would you rather clean your room now or after this Television show is over?" this can reduce a lot of arguments and increase the likelihood that a child will comply with instructions.

📌They may have underlying mental health issues.

Sometimes ch have underlying mental health issues that contribute to behavior problems. Children with ADHD, for example, struggle to follow directions and behave impulsively. Underlying anxiety or depression can also contribute to behavior problems. An anxious child may avoid attending school assembly if he is asked to make a presentation before the students or pupils. A depressed child may be irritable and lack the motivation to complete their chores or school work. If you suspect a child may have an underlying mental health issue or developmental disorder, then there is a need for the service of a pediatrician. An evaluation by trained mental health professionals may be necessary to determine if any underlying emotional issues are contributing to behavior problems. You have to check the health of the child before concluding about misbehavior.

📌The desire to test your limits.

When you have 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 when they break the rules. Set clear limits and offer consequences consistently. If children think there's a small chance they may be able to get away with something, they're often tempted to try it. If you show them that they will receive a negative consequence each time they break a rule, they will become more compliant.

📌To draw your attention.

A child can misbehave just to get your attention; even if it is negative attention, children still crave it. Ignoring negative behavior and praising positive behavior is one of the best ways to deal with attention-seeking behaviors. Everyone needs attention; the difference is " in what area and how is it communicated?" If you keep ignoring a child, the child will keep demanding your attention. When you shut the child up, you lose the child.

📌The issue of environmental influence.

Children learn how to behave by watching others. Whether they are watching you, watching their peer, or copying something they have seen on television and so on, children repeat what they see. Limit their exposure to aggressive behavior on television, in video games, and in real life. Model healthy behavior to teach the child the appropriate way to behave in various situations. Every behavior is feedback about a child's pleasure its pain. You must unlearn your thought about misbehavior because some things we call misbehavior are children's expressions of themselves. When a child is learning how to learn, his mistakes can be called misbehavior by adults.

📌The desire to exercise independence.

As preschoolers learn to do more things on their own, they often want to show off their new skills. Preteens and teens are also known for their attempts to be independent. They may become more argumentative and may behave disrespectfully at times. Teens may become rebellious in an attempt to show adults that they can think for themselves. They may break the rules on purpose and try to show adults that they can't be forced to do things they don't want to do.

Give the child appropriate choices. Ask your preschooler, "Do you want water or milk?" Tell your teenager, "It's up to you to decide when you want to do your chores, and as soon as your chores are done, you can use your electronics." Giving age-appropriate freedom will meet the child's need to be independent. Independence is freedom with boundaries. If you don't learn true independence as a parent or parent-partner, you will deprive the children of the skill for independence in adulthood. We have so many independent children in an adult body. This is a disaster for many generations.

Having known the likely causes of children's misbehavior, considering them before determining the disciplinary strategy to use will be essential.

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