How To Understand Poor Behavior In Children?
Read this post from my step by step guide to help you get that understanding that you are seeking and help kids make a little bit more sense.
For the best guidance and support in the world of emotion.
I’m a therapist and emotion specialist and I am passionate about helping people understand the world of emotion and how understanding emotion and emotion management leads to stronger you and a more confident you and a more confident child, your child, or your own child.
Now by the end of this post you will have the information that helps you understand poor behavior in children.
I’ve given this information and supported hundreds of parents and now it’s your turn.
So number one in understanding for behavior in children is that behavior is the symptom.
Now what that means is we often look at behavior as the problem.
We often see behavior as a warning sign of issues, problems, things going on for children.
One reason is because behavior makes us reactive.
If a child is behaving in a way that’s negative, it’s something that’s simple.
It’s something that we can see.
It’s tangible and it’s easy to jump on top of that. Oh my goodness, my child is being disrespectful. They’re being rude, they’re saying mean things to me.
I need to do something about it.
But the reality is that behavior is not the issue, behavior is just the symptom. For example, I had a parent come in and say, there’s so much disrespect happening at home.
My child says mean things to me.
They make me feel bad about myself and they are not.
They’re just losing it all the time.
So mom came in with the child who I see often and we were together to find What came out of that was mom’s like, well she needs to stop calling me names, but the child said, but you call me names. And mom was like, well, you need to stop losing it all the time. And the child says, but you lose it all the time.
So sometimes what’s coming out of our kids and the behaviors that we don’t like, we need to step back and check in and see what’s going on with ourself or with other people in the children’s environment.
Because a child wants to please you.
They want your love, they want your affection.
And if their behavior is not going very well, it’s usually an indication of something happening in their world.
They don’t always know how to communicate it.
So our job is to be the detective to try and help that out.
What often happens though is their poor behavior effects us in a negative way that our brain starts to pay attention to what we don’t like and how we’re feeling.
And so in order to fix that means let’s fix the kid’s behavior, that’ll solve the problem.
But really that’s only gonna create more problems in the long run.
What is more helpful for you and for your child is to be a detective, to try and help identify what’s driving this negative behavior, this unwanted behavior.
Because that will be the source of how to adjust the behaviour.
Children have a hard time communicating what’s going on.
They need your help to communicate that. Now, this doesn’t mean that you allow the behavior that’s happening because obviously the behavior needs to change if it’s getting in the way of home life or school life, but your child needs your support and help to identify what is going on and that takes listening. I have a book that I’ve written called listen, helping your child manage their emotions.
It helps to lay out what you can do to help support your child.
I’ll put a link to that. I also have a download for parents with a step by step guide and helping your child manage their emotions. I can put that down below as well.
Now this is all making sense. Comment below.
Let me know if this is working for you. So number three, if your child has poor behavior, you are the source to help your child.
Managing their behavior is only management. It’s temporary.
When we tried to manage the behavior only what we’re communicating to the child is that we can’t hear them, is that they’re not safe in their space because the way they’re communicating can’t be understood.
When a child doesn’t feel understood or feels misunderstood, this creates chaos inside.
This creates a feeling that they’re not safe in their space, which is going to lead to poor behavior. So really the best bet to help your child is how well you’re able to listen to them and how you listen to your child that have an acronym I go by LIVE.
Listen, identify, validate, empathize. When your child is expressing poor behavior, number one, listen.
Listen is not listening with your ears. Listening is listening with your eyes, your ears, your heart, all the senses that you have to try and identify what could be going on in this moment for your child. You don’t want to react to that moment.
You want to be neutral and attentive to what is going on.
Number two, identify the emotion the child is experiencing.
If your child is sad, pointed out. I see you’re sad. I can tell.
I can see it on your face or anger.
I can see you’re clenching your fist and you’re yelling at me again, I can tell that you’re angry.
Identifying the emotion for your child speaks to the emotion brain and helps to calm it down and calming it down puts your child in a position where you can have a conversation and work through the situation.
That’s not going to work when your child’s in the middle of being emotional, they’re not going to hear a single word that you say because an emotional child or a child who’s acting out is in a state of protection.
The brain all it’s doing in that moment is keeping the child safe.
So the next is V for Validate, listen, identify, validate, validate the emotion.
Even if you don’t like the behavior and it’s inappropriate and wrong, you still want to validate what’s driving this. I see your angry.
I can see it all over your body. I can hear the words you’re using.
I can see you’re angry. I hear it. I get it. I see it.
And then after that you want to emphasize that would make sense.
You’re not allowed to get what you want or a you’re upset because of this.
I can understand or I get why you are, even if you don’t understand, I get why you’re angry right now.
Doing all of that helps the charge of emotion inside the body of the child to start to settle.
It’s way more effective than asking a child how they feel because they don’t really know how they feel or expecting a child to change their behavior in the heat of when they’re feeling this emotion. They need you to help them to regroup.
They need you to not get pulled into the emotional space to show that you can hold your space and remain neutral while they go through their thing, that you can help them work through it and get to a space where the emotion can settle and calm down.
If you’re reprimanding or you’re punishing or you’re engaging in the space when they’re emotional, it only communicates to the child that their world is not safe, that they don’t really matter, and you can do much better than them.
So why are you expecting them to fix their behavior when you can’t help them your own? So once you do that and wait for the emotion to pass, when your child’s brain will start to the thinking brain.
The cognitive brain will start to come back on line.
And that’s the time when you can do the work to recorrect the behavior that’s happening. And you will find that your child will want to be on board with that.
Your child does not want to be disrespectful or just behavior any of these things. Your child wants, your acceptance and your approval more than anything.
That is the greatest power you have as a parent.
It comes out when you’re working with your child instead of working against the part of your child speaking up and saying, I need help right now.
But often we tend to the behavior and try and fix that which actually communicates, I’m not interested in hearing you right now.
I’m interested in fixing this thing that’s affected me negatively And that’s only going to cause problems in the long term.
So in this post you have the information number number one, to understand that behavior as a communicator. Number two, that your child is feeling out of control and they don’t want to be misbehaving and they need help. And number three, you are the source to come and help your child help bring everything down and regulate and re-correct the behavior that is happening there.
I love helping children feel stronger and parents feel stronger and it creates greater connections with yourself and with others.
I look forward to seeing you in the next post and I am here for you.