10 Common Reasons Why Kids Misbehave

10 Common Reasons Why Kids Misbehave

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One of the questions that must be going through your head might be “how to deal with a misbehaving child?” You’re not alone as this is a question that is in the mind of countless other parents. As children begin to grow, they are exposed to new environments and conditions that could cause them to act out.

Reasons Why Children Misbehave and How to Respond

Below are some of the causes of children’s misbehaviour:

1. Parental Behaviour

The interesting bit about kids is that they often mimic their own parents. Instead of being polite to others around them, they may have an attitude of indifference towards their peers and elders.

What Can You Do

Make it a point to be polite to your partner whenever you interact with him. This could even mean something as simple as saying good morning every day with a smile. Don’t be surprised if you find your munchkin doing the same in a few weeks.

2. Testing Their Limits

As children get older, they will start questioning rules that have been set up. At the very least they would try their luck and see how far they can get away with doing something they shouldn’t.

What Can You Do

Stay vigilant and do not be afraid to make them aware of the consequences of behaving inappropriately.

3. Television

Have you noticed that your child is talking obnoxiously after they started watching a particular channel or playing a certain video game? Children are very susceptible to the environment around them and can easily pick up bad habits from people around them.

Child watching inappropriate things on TV

What Can You Do

Rather than stopping them from watching television altogether, identify which show has caused this sudden behaviour. Then, try to find an alternative show with the same genre that they can watch where the protagonist acts as a role model.

4. An Inability to Control Their Emotions

Children are emotional beings, but sometimes it can be hard for them to recognise these feelings. For instance, one of the teachers at school might be harsh on him. This may cause him to act out later, but he himself may not know why he is doing it because he is unable to realise that he is hurt. So, the next time you wonder why does a child misbehave at school? This could be the reason.

What Can You Do

Awareness about their own emotions is essential for controlling misbehaviour. You need to teach him about emotions and tell him ways in which he can control them like deep breathing. Once this happens, he will have a better handle on his conduct.

5. Inability to Comprehend Rules

This case of misbehaviour is often a misunderstanding on the part of parents. There may be situations where you may think that your child is deliberately misbehaving when that is not the case.

What Can You Do

Be aware of your child’s own limitations. A 2-year old child will not know why you are upset with him if you ask him to wash the dishes and he doesn’t do it. This is not out of defiance but an inability to independently wash plates himself.

6. Boredom

Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” This couldn’t be more true for a child. With so much free time on their hand, they may end up doing the mischievous activity on a regular basis.

Bored child

What Can You Do

Make sure that you add structure to his life. Put in a good amount of activities that can keep their minds occupied. If you take up classes such as book reading, dancing or other extra-curricular, it has the additional benefit of giving them extra life skills.

7. Unchecked Bad Behaviour

Some parents may not accept it, but this happens more often than you would think. You may be strict when you say that they are not allowed to watch television after 9 p.m. However, there may be one day that they cry a lot and you end up agreeing to them. This is the worst thing that you could do because it enforces a negative behaviour. As far as they are concerned, they will think that behaving badly is the best thing they can do to get their way.

What Can You Do

You will need to be strict and cannot yield under pressure. There may be times where they may look so sweet and innocent that it will be hard to say no. However, you will need to think for the long-term and be stern no matter what.

8. Control

Children can get argumentative when they feel that they do not have enough control over their lives. This could lead to an adversarial relationship between the two of you which is not required.

What Can You Do

The solution is simple but unfortunately many parents are not aware of this. Offer them a choice when you feel an argument is on the way. For example, if you need them to do their homework, offer them a choice so that they feel they have some control over things. Say, “would you like to do your homework in the morning before school or before bedtime?”.

9. Vengeful Misbehaviour

This can happen when they deliberately behave in a rude manner with you or someone close to them. An example of this is that he does not wish you in the morning when normally they do. Another example could be not saying that he does not say that he loves you when you say that you love him.

What Can You Do

This behaviour is most likely because they have perceived some small incident in the past as hurtful. Perhaps he wanted to play with his friend, and you told him that he had to come back home because it was getting dark. This incident may have affected him as he would have felt that you didn’t care about him or the friendship with his friend. What you need to do is talk to him and identify why he is upset. Then, explain to him why you said or did what you did. For example, in the case above, you can tell him that you wanted him safe and that is why you insisted on him coming home before it got dark.

10. Refusal to Try New Things

There may be times when your child might say no to everything. Even if you ask him to try out something that he may like he says no. At first glance, it may seem as if he is deliberately trying to push your buttons. However, it is just a fear on their part that they may not do well.

What Can You Do

As this is a self-esteem issue, you need to constantly encourage them by saying words like “You can do it” and “I’m proud of you”. In addition, you can try out small activities so that they can gain confidence and then move on to bigger things. For example, in swimming, they can start in the kiddie pool and move to a regular pool once they gain some confidence.

Kids are kids at the end of the day, and it wouldn’t be right to treat them harshly just because they are behaving poorly. At the same time, it would not be wise to be lax with them as they may end up bullying you. While there is no single approach to parenting, the important bit is that you understand why they are misbehaving. Once that is clear to you, it will become easier to come up with a solution.

Also Read: How To Deal With Conduct Disorder in Children