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Child Behavior: Misbehavior

Child Behavior: Misbehavior

Jayne Major, Ph.D. (Parenting Educator & Child Custody Consultant, Breakthrough Parenting Services, Inc. ) gives expert video advice on: What is the key to understanding my child's behavior? and more...

Why do children misbehave?

Children may misbehave because they don't know better: they're children. They don't have judgement. Most children are learning judgement, so misbehave. Most children will steal things. Most children will start a fire somewhere. Most children will misbehave by doing unsafe things like running into traffic, and all kinds of things, they're children. Children will misbehave and experiment with all kinds of things. They don't have the maturity and they cognition of an adult person. Because children misbehave, they need parents, and parents should expect these things to happen, rather than thinking "they're misbehaving." Misbehaviour is a problem to be solved. Misbehaviour is an opportunity to teach a child about not shoplifting, about how to act in school so you don't get D's on you report card.

What are the steps to managing a child who misbehaves?

So there is a problem. Let's take the deal of the report card most children will have that experience at one time or another. And the first step is “Johnny, there's a D on your report card”. Step one. Identify the problem. Two, “I don't understand why you got that D”. And you listen as to why Johnny thinks he got the D and then you say. Well, I'm wondering what could solve this because D's aren't okay. So I'm wondering what you need to do at school that would change this, so you don't get another D and you make a plan and you do that with him. Because after all it's his D not yours and he has to change his behavior and correct his behavior in school where your not even there. It's his problem, you're helping him solve it and you make a plan. When I go to school, I am not going to be talking when I'm not supposed to or whatever the issue was and you make a plan he does it. You evaluate - Johnny how is it going in school? Is that problem being solved now? And then you find out and you will know by the next report card if there's a D again. What a lot of parents do is they talk too much and the child never has a chance. Children are children, they need a minute to think. So you wait, you wait and also the technique is you look “I don't understand why you got this D” and I'm looking at you and I'm waiting for an answer and very few chances are rare a child won't answer.