Written by: Valerie Holcomb, MFTI
Often, your child’s misbehavior is not as intentional as you may think. How parents respond to the behavior can influence how often and in what way children repeat that behavior. How a parent reacts to unintentional misbehavior may determine whether that behavior will be repeated as a way to achieve one of the four goals of misbehavior: attention, power, revenge, and displaying inadequacy. following are some quick but impactful positive solutions for the misbehavior.
Here are some cooperative strategies to help you help your children feel encouraged and empowered by addressing the above misbehaviors:
• If your child’s goal is to seek attention, then try redirecting by involving your child in a useful task that is age-appropriate to gain attention. For instance, say what you will do. For example, have faith in your child to sit with his or her feelings, don’t rescue. Finally, plan regular special time together.
• If your child’s goal is to be the boss or have power then try redirecting to positive power by asking for help. Offer limited choices and don’t fight or give in. You can be firm and kind, and decide what you will do.
• If your child wants to get even or has revenge then acknowledge his or her feelings. Avoid punishment and instead build trust. It’s okay to share your own feelings and try to make amends. The point is to show that you care.
• If your child wants to give up or displays inadequacy then try breaking the task down to smaller steps. Refrain from criticizing and encourage any positive attempt. This is an opportunity for you to have faith in your child’s abilities. This is a chance for you to teach your child by showing how, but don’t do it for him.
Remember if your child is having a hard time, interrupting, throwing tantrums, being rude, or simply not trying, this doesn’t mean you are an unsuccessful parent or that your child is unruly. It means that it’s most likely a time to begin aiming for solutions to solve the problem and modeling the cooperation and respect that your child deserves.