4 Goals of Misbehavior in Children

We all know children misbehave. It’s just a part of being a kid. They may throw a tantrum in the store, refuse to put their shoes on for school, or sneak extra time on their video games. The question is why?  They’re actually four potential goals of misbehavior in children. 

  1.  Attention- These children want to be noticed, even for negative reasons. They will be the class clowns, or show-offs, causing parents to feel annoyed. The best way to eliminate the behaviors is to have quality time with your child- schedule daily or weekly play dates, recognize their achievements, and praise and encourage their positive efforts. 
  1. Power- These are the children wanting to control everything. They might boss around their friends, argue with adults, and lie to get their way. Give these kids limited choices. Do you want to wear the blue or green shirt today? Make a ritual out of it- let them choose dinner every Friday night. Have fun! Let them walk to the car like an elephant or a monkey. younger ones. 
  1. Revenge- Because they feel they have been harmed or wronged in some way, these children push people away. These types of kids may be sore losers in gym, bullies on the playground, and aggressive at home. Don’t take their actions personally. Listen without blame or judgement. Apologize when you make a mistake. Write them special notes in their lunchbox, or tell stories with them as the hero/heroine. 
  1. Proving inadequacy- Children with this goal feel they can’t do anything right, so why even try? Constant encouragement will help these kiddos. Point out their success, no matter how small and celebrate them! Allow them to make mistakes and know it going to be ok in the end. 

Children will if they can, a quote from Dr. Ross Greene. You can guide them and provide them a path to positive behaviors. Feel your child or family need some extra support in managing negative behaviors? Contact me to discuss ways I can help. 

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