To effectively correct a misbehaving child, I would like us to dive into the definition of a child.
Who is a child?
1- The first thing you need to note is that ‘Your child is not an adult.’ I like to say this a lot because many times we look at children and we want them to behave like adults.
Unlike adults, children are still developing socially. Thereby, children are learning values, knowledge, and skills that can help them to relate to the world around them.
Most times, I hear parents say things like, ‘oh, but you are supposed to know this’, forgetting that children are not adults. From the physiological, cognitive, and social aspects, you can never compare a child to an adult. So we must understand that social skills are learned from the people around the child. Children learn social skills from the environment and people around them. Our experience shapes us, either positively or negatively.
If you’re constantly thinking your child should be able to do something, you might struggle in raising your child. The constant use of the word ‘should’ takes away the place of learning for the child.
“Children don’t say I have a hard time, can we talk”? They say things like, “Will you play with me? Your child’s emotions are valid, you shouldn’t ignore their needs.
2– Your child is human and your child has emotions: As I said earlier when a child is distraught, he/she doesn’t say it in clear terms. So anytime your child comes to you and says, ‘will you play with me? It’s an indication that your child is dealing with something. Just like you, a child gets angry, happy, embarrassed, sad, or even frustrated. Children don’t know how to express emotions. The emotional well-being of your child starts with you recognizing that your child has emotions. Also, emotional well-being is influenced by the people around them, environment, social wellbeing, and self-awareness.
During my private sessions with parents, I discovered that parents live in denial and do not like to take responsibility for all that happens in their environment. They say things like, ‘oh, my child didn’t learn this from me, he/she learned it from outside’. By the time I am done with private sessions, most parents realize that their children picked it up from their immediate environment. We are all products of our experiences. Also, remember, parenting is about YOU.
PLEASE NOTE: Your child cannot be happy all the time because no emotionally stable person is happy all the time.
Parents must learn to manage their own emotions themselves. Learning your emotions as a parent is a skill that can be learned. When you connect with your child emotionally, you give your child more resilience, you build high self-esteem, you cultivate better leadership skills, more self-resilience, and better social skills.
3- Your child is still trying to learn the world: Children are natural learners. For example, when your child brings a cup and turns it upside down and you beat the child. You are telling the child not to be experimental. The child is trying to learn their world and they do it by experimenting with things. Children go through different learning stages.
Why and what makes a child misbehave.
1- For you to deal with any misbehavior effectively, you must first understand why your child misbehaves. You owe that to your child. If you have ever seen a child misbehaving, what comes to your mind? For most people, they say things like ‘This child is trying me.’ This is not peculiar to anyone in particular. Every parent thinks that a child is trying
2- We must understand that children will seek attention at all costs. Do you know that a brain can be rewired? And it will be carried in the DNA of your child. However, there are two biggest motivations of misbehavior:- Attention, power, and control. Children believe that having negative attention is better than no attention at all. So they will do anything to get attention. Do you know that your child can hit his head in the wall just to get your attention? It doesn’t matter the extent that your child needs to go, children will do everything and anything to get your attention. So sometimes, a misbehaving child is just an attention-seeking child. Sadly, parents think the child is ‘trying them ‘when he/she is only trying to get the parents’ attention.
3- Many times, children misbehave just for the need to exert power and control violence. It also happens to you as parents. For most parents, power and control mean they are the alpha and omega of the home and their children’s lives. You will also replicate such lifestyles in your children. They will become abrasive. Children like this respond better when you give them choices than just demand. For you to raise an emotionally intelligent child, you must become one yourself. Modelling is always more important than the things you say. Children come as a clean slate to the world. So they learn everything from the environment. They use the behaviour to communicate their emotions. Children don’t know how to verbalise their emotions.
4- If you understand how and why children misbehave, it will help to also choose the appropriate discipline strategy to use. So you must understand that when your child is misbehaving, there is an underlying factor. Sometimes I see things happen and we have a lot of people jump to conclusions. Do you know why? This is because they have learnt to understand and identify underlying factors in any given situation.
5- According to psychology, children are naturally curious. This experiment is of two categories:- The Natural World and The Social world.
6- They want attention
7- Children are copy-cats: Children copy others. They learn how to behave by copying others. This is why we say that a child learns how to behave from the environment. What is your child watching?
Do you know that your child can begin to watch something and the brain will be wired in a certain way?
“Every child will remember the examples laid down instead of the voice.”
“Parents must reckon that they are major influencers of who their children become.”
As a matter of fact, what your children need to thrive is not on the screen.
8- They are testing your limits: A child is going to test your limits. You must say what you mean and mean what you say. It would do more harm than good when you don’t mean what you say. You must set up the right consequences for misbehaviour in the home. Fear, flogging and yelling are no consequences. It takes a lot of emotional stability to allow your children to go through consequences.
Do you often find yourself losing your cool and yelling at your children?
Do you find yourself verbally abusing because you feel verbal abuse is better than physical abuse?
Don’t kid yourself, verbal abuse can be worse.
It happens to many parents, but it doesn’t have to.
It is possible to change and enjoy a calmer life because of it!
Yes it is!!
With our upcoming ” MASTER YOUR EMOTIONS CHALLENGE” , you’ll learn practical, simple solutions, tools, strategies, guides & motivation to replace aggression and reactivity in your parenting with calm, peace & Thinking.
Whether you have one child or twenty (or one you still yell at who is twenty), strengthen your relationships and maybe even laugh a little more–by taking this CHALLENGE today.
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