February 16, 2017 Posted by webAdmin

Why do Children really misbehave?

I take a great interest in child psychology, and what makes children tick.  A recent article I read surrounding behaviour patterns got me thinking about how we can help our children to deal with these moments when a battle ensues between parent and child, yet neither one knows why or how to stop it. When a child doesn’t feel a strong sense of belonging they will act in ways that they (mistakenly) believe will give them the emotional connection and positive attention they crave.

Children and adults have a need for belonging and significance.  Belonging refers to the emotional connection and positive attention we need with one another. Significance refers to one’s sense of autonomy.  Think of it as a form of possessing personal power. Without both of these needs being met, children will misbehave.

A strategy taken from Amy McCready’s  ‘Positive Parenting Solutions’ is something we call ‘The 5 R’s’.   It is all about the use of effective consequences, and teaching children to make better choices.

The 5 R’s:

R: Respectful – do not inflict shame or blame on a child.  Instead teach him/her to be respectful and to make a better choice in the future.

R: Related to the Misbehaviour – for children to learn they first have to understand their misbehaviour.  They also need a consequence that is related to the misbehaviour and one that they can understand.  ‘A consequence of throwing a puzzle piece at your brother is to not play with that puzzle for the rest of the day.’

R: Reasonable in duration based on the child’s age.

R: Revealed in Advance  – The consequence must be revealed to a child in advance so that he/she can choose between the appropriate behaviour and the consequence.

R: Repeated back to you – Ask children to repeat back to you what the rules/consequences are.  Use simple language, the more simple the language the better the understanding.

Remember, reinforce positive behaviour with praise, and never argue with a toddler!