Parenting is a hard job. There's no denying that. But it's also one of the most rewarding experiences you'll ever have. To see your child learn, grow, and develop into their own unique individual is a true gift. However, raising a child isn't always easy. Every child is different, with their own abilities, behaviours, and personalities. And as they grow and change, so do their needs. As a parent, it's important to learn the reasons behind your child's behaviour so that you can help them improve it. After all, happy kids make for happy parents. With a little patience and understanding, you can both enjoy your lives without unnecessary stresses.
What causes child behaviour problems?
It’s human nature for children to behave badly sometimes, but there is always a reason why they misbehave. Even though the reasons might sometimes seem silly or not make sense, it can actually make perfect sense if you look deep enough into why kids do these things. Here are some reasons for misbehaviour examples:
KIDS COPY WHAT THEY SEE
Kids are always watching what other people do. They try to copy their peers at school, or they'll pick up on something from TV and repeat it without thinking about the consequences. If they see particular behaviours from trusted role models like their parents or teachers, they are even more likely to repeat it.
THEY WANT ATTENTION
As any parent knows, kids want attention. They want to be heard and they want to feel important. When they don't get the attention they crave, they may start acting out in negative ways. They may become disruptive in class, or they may withdraw from their friends and family.
DIFFICULTY DEALING WITH THEIR EMOTIONS
Kids can get overwhelmed with their feelings and as a result, they may act out in an aggressive way. They can also do this when feeling angry or bored because those emotions are too much for them to handle in that moment.
THEY GET WHAT THEY WANT BY MISBEHAVING
One of the most important reasons why children misbehave is because it works. Many parents just give in when their child throws a tantrum and allow them to do what they want to avoid stress. So, if breaking a rule gets them what they want, then there's no reason to follow any rules at all!
THEY MAY HAVE MENTAL HEALTH CHALLENGES
In some cases, children have mental health issues that contribute to their behaviour. For example, a child who has suffered trauma may act out in aggressive ways, a child with anxiety may become withdrawn and disruptive in class and those with ADHD struggle to follow directions and behave on impulse.
THEIR NEEDS AREN’T BEING MET
When children feel hungry, tired or ill they often behave badly because it is not easy for them to express the need. Toddlers and pre-schoolers are not very good at communicating what they want so their actions usually mean that something has gone wrong with meeting those needs.
There are so many potential reasons for why your little one is acting or behaving in the wrong way and this can be very challenging. So, read on to find out more about how you can overcome these challenges and help your kids to improve their behaviour so they can have a happier and more positive future.
What does positive parenting mean & why is it good for misbehaviour?
Parents who practice positive parenting make sure their kids feel loved, appreciated and heard. The key is encouraging young children's behaviour when it’s good and praising them for it. You might not always be able catch your kid being “good”, but you can certainly focus on what they do right instead of dwelling on the bad stuff!
How to practice positive parenting to help raise kids with good behaviour
The best way to stop your child from doing something bad is by giving them positive feedback and engagement. This will make it easier for you both, as well as teaching them that when they do good things, not only will they be happy but they will make others around them happier too! Positive parenting can promote children’s confidence and provide them with the tools needed to make good choices. By praising them instead of criticizing them, you will help to nurture their self-esteem which will in turn give you parents less stress as your kids will have better self-discipline. They will have better social problem-solving skills and have the ability to get along well with others.
Parents who practice parenting in this manner succeed because they're meeting their kids’ emotional needs through nurturing interactions instead of harsh punishment which can lead children towards more problematic behaviour down the line.
BE KIND BUT FIRM
One of the best things you can do for your children is to be a kind but firm parent. It's important to show them that you love them and care about them, but it's also important to set boundaries. By being clear about what your expectations are, you can teach them self-discipline and respect for authority. At the same time, by showing kindness and understanding, you can build a strong bond with your children that will last a lifetime.
BE PATIENT WITH THEM
Patience is necessary when dealing with tantrums and meltdowns, but it is also important for simply taking the time to listen to your child. When you show your child that you are patient and willing to listen, they will feel valued and respected. This doesn't mean that we won’t ever get frustrated, but that we take a deep breath and try to understand the situation from their perspective to be able to find a solution. By remaining patient, we show our children that we love them unconditionally and that we are committed to working through challenges together.
SPEND ONE-ON-ONE TIME TOGETHER
One of the most important things you can do for your kid is to spend regular quality time with them. This doesn't mean being their best friend or always agreeing with them, but it does mean making an effort to connect with them on a deeper level. When you take the time to really listen to them and show them that you care about their feelings and opinions, it can help them to develop stronger self-confidence and healthy relationships with others.
SPEAK TO YOUR CHILD & LISTEN
Take the time to speak to your child when they misbehave and listen to their explanation to help prevent future misbehaviour. By speaking to your child, you show that you are interested in their perspective and willing to listen to them. This can help to build trust and understanding between you both. In addition, listening to your child's explanation can give you insights into why they misbehaved. Was it simply a matter of poor judgment, or are there deeper issues at play? Only by taking the time to talk to your child will you be able to understand their actions and help them learn from their mistakes.
PRAISE THEM FOR THEIR GOOD BEHAVIOUR
Praise your kids when they behave well. A simple "Good job!" can go a long way towards building self-esteem and motivating kids to do their best or "I'm so proud of how hard you worked on that project." When you take the time to praise your child's efforts, you send the message that you value their achievements. In turn, this helps to create a positive feedback loop of good behaviour and achievement and gives them the boost they need to keep trying, even when they make mistakes.
BE CLEAR ABOUT CONSEQUENCES
Enforce natural consequences for your child’s actions. When they make a poor choice, such as failing to do their homework or not wanting to go to school, they should be made to face the consequences of their actions. This might mean that they receive a lower grade on their report card or have to sit out of their favourite activity. Another example is if your kid refuses to wear rain boots on a rainy day, then instead of getting annoyed and then punishing them for it, you should explain the consequence: ‘Your socks will get soaked and your feet will be wet, cold and uncomfortable’. What is the lesson of breaking a toy? It means the child cannot play with it anymore. These are natural consequences. This will allow your child to think more about their decision and then make the right choice.
How to help my child with behaviour problems through mindfulness and gratitude
We want our children to live a happy and peaceful life. One way to help them achieve this is through mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of being present in the moment and observing your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can help children to regulate their emotions, cope with stress and anxiety, behave better and make the right decisions. Additionally, mindfulness can also help children to sleep better, focus more at school, and be more patient. Best of all, mindfulness is something that children can practice anywhere and at any time. So next time your child is feeling stressed or overwhelmed, encourage them to take a few minutes to be mindful. It could make all the difference in their day.
One way to practice mindfulness is through meditation. You can read all about meditation and its benefits on our lovely blog. Another way is with our Mindful Dreams notebook. It’s the perfect way to sit down with your little ones, bond with them while practising expressing gratitude and writing down what you are thankful for each week. The notebook also comes with uplifting affirmations they can colour in and stick on their wall to remind them how amazing they are!
How to calm children’s anxiety and to cope better
As mentioned above, one of the reasons kids can misbehave is because of anxiety. This anxiety can be due to anything, from having to move to a different school, family problems, lack of confidence, moving house or anything else. Signs your misbehaving child might be anxious include lashing out, throwing tantrums, seeming distracted, moving around a lot, arguing with others, and asking lots of questions. Here are a few ways to help with their anxiety and ease their mind:
Colouring Fun for Kids!
Colouring has long been considered a therapeutic and calming activity for both adults and children. The act of focusing on creating vibrant pictures can help to take kids' minds off of their anxious thoughts, and the repetitive nature of colouring can provide a sense of order and calm. In addition, the bright colours and patterns can help to stimulate positive emotions. It can help to focus the mind and body on a single task, which can be helpful in moments of stress. Colouring also requires fine motor skills and coordination, which can help to soothe jittery nerves. And because it is a nonverbal activity, kids can express their anxiety without feeling self-conscious or overwhelmed.
We have the most amazing range of printables on our website for you parents to download for free and for your little ones to colour in! All you need is a printer at home and our special colourful shaped crayons! There are printable colouring pages for different occasions, ages, ones especially for boys and some for girls- something special for every personality!
Helpful Anti-Stress Toys
The happy look on your child's face when they get this spinning, face changing Octopus fidget spinner is priceless! It makes a great gift for kids who suffer from stress or anxiety. With three expressions and buttons to press it'll keep them entertained all day long, wherever they go. A perfect tool to play with while your little ones are worried while waiting for their doctor or dentist appointment.
The brightly-coloured push pop maths toy is an excellent way to keep your kids distracted, happy and less worried/stressed. It's also educational, so they will learn their multiplications at the same time. They'll be entertained for ages, pushing and popping non-stop!
Have a magical bath-time!
There's nothing quite like a relaxing bath at the end of a long, stressful day. And when you can share that experience with your child, it's even better! Thanks to our handmade bath bombs, you and your little one can enjoy a fun and fizzy bath time together. Just drop one of our bombs into the tub and watch it fizz and bubble around in the water. Your child will love the scents and textures, and you'll both be able to relax and unwind. It's the perfect way to end a hectic day! You could also get our bath bomb making kit so you can make your own bath bombs together by yourselves and then save them for a future bath experience!
We hope that this has helped to give you a better understanding of why your child is behaving in the way they are, and what you can do to help them. It’s important that we don’t brush our children’s misbehaviours under the rug and at the same time, realise that everyone make mistakes – it’s how we learn – but if we can provide a supportive environment for our kids and help them to correct these issues, we are setting them up for a brighter future.
Feel free to read our other blogs on many different topics, for more tips and information on parenting. Thank you for reading!