When our children are obedient and well-behaved we feel like good parents. But when they misbehave we panic. We are desperate to wipe out the misbehavior. We are anxious to find the answer to the question “What should I do when my child misbehaves?”
When younger children misbehave – they shout and scream to show us that they are important and that they exist and their existence matters. When older children misbehave they bang doors and walk away to show us that they are separate from us. That they are individuals with their own minds and opinions. And that they can manage without us.
But why do children misbehave?
Children misbehave when they are not happy with what is happening or what they are being forced to do. They misbehave when they want to let us know that they disagree.
When children misbehave to express their unhappiness – we shout to silence the disagreement. This however – is the wrong thing to do.
It is important to understand that disagreements cannot and should not be wiped away. Every individual whether he is an adult or a child must be free to think like himself. And when he thinks like himself – some of his opinions are bound to conflict with the opinions of others. It is important to encourage children to think for themselves and recognize their minds and also say what they want to say.
However, we need to teach our children socially acceptable – polite ways of expressing their disagreement. Children shout and bang doors only when they don’t know how to express themselves politely.
When your child shouts or misbehaves in any other way – don’t get angry and silence the difference of opinion with a “Keep quiet!”
Instead listen to what your child wants to say and help him to say it better. Teach him how to communicate. Teach him how to choose the right words and how to say what he wants without raising his voice or bursting into tears.
Turn every episode of misbehavior into an opportunity to teach better communication skills.
Make it Easy for your Child to say Sorry