The Secret to Understanding Bad Behaviour in Your Children.
It’s generally not a great idea to give a generic ‘one-size-fits-all’ advice on parenting… children are all different, as are parents, as are circumstances, so any advice that does not factor in all of your specifics should be taken with more than just a pinch of salt.
I say all of this to highlight that this is no ordinary piece of advice. This is advice based not on any of the factors I listed a moment ago, but based on the human condition itself. Indeed you could apply this advice to adults too, although their longer life experiences often muddies the waters in terms of how they behave.
Children are so much easier to read in terms of their behavior – there is an innocence to how they portray their inner thoughts – so much more direct and to the point than in many adults.
The secret is not something I have developed myself. I actually learned it from my wife… but where she got it from I have no idea. She is the kind of instinctively good parent that could well have coined the phrase herself.
All behavior is communication. Every tantrum and outburst is an attempt to communicate some kind of truth relating to their mental state at that time. It’s not their fault that they lack the vocabulary to articulate it any better than by screaming and hitting out physically.My darling wife.
Anger is NOT the Solution to Bad Behavior from Your Children.
Its easy to be angered by seemingly naughty behavior from your children, but this is rarely productive. Anger from a parent will neither correct any behavior nor even act as a decent punishment.
Your child lacks the ability calmly explain deep frustration, anger, fear, anxiety or any number of other emotions. Rather, bad behavior, tantrums, and even violence represent their best efforts to verbalize these feelings.
If you think of your child’s tantrum in this way, it becomes clear that mere punishment will not be enough to correct the behavior. Indeed, in this situation, the last thing you want is a behavioral change based on
Other ways children express anxiety and other emotions, besides ‘naughty’ behavior, include depression, self-imposed isolation, bed wetting, sleeplessness, self-harm, refusal to eat/attend school, and many more.
The Importance of Empathy in Handling
Childrens Naughty Behavior.
Understanding this requires empathy, and that classic trait so rare in humans – the ability to be the bigger person in the situation. Its not easy at times, but as good parents we need to remove ourselves from our emotions when dealing with a situation. This is no different from hiding your tears if your child is about to go into surgery – stepping outside of your emotional response for long enough to think about the bigger picture: what is really happening here, what does this behavior actually represent, and how can I best react to this in order to protect and nurture my childs emotional state?
This is not easy, it can be incredibly hard going to consistently react in this way – but it most definitely gets easier with practice.
Every time your child acts up, they are trying to communicate something, our role as parents, besides correcting bad behavior, is to understand that communication and resolve the root cause of the behavior. In so doing, you minimize the likelihood of the behavior repeating.
Are you able to respond to naughty behavior in this way? Its far from easy, but the more I think on it, the more important I believe it to be. Tell us in the comments, and do not forget to share this on social media if you enjoyed this content.