10 Reasons why Children Misbehave and the Power of Positive Attention

Misbehaving One way or another children will misbehave, but understanding the reason why can give parents the opportunity to develop positive coping mechanisms to address misbehaviour and in turn develop stronger and more positive relationships with their children.

  1. When thinking about the reasons why children misbehave it is perhaps useful to think firstly about what misbehaviour actually is.
  2. A lot of behavior is more an expression of energy and enthusiasm than any desire to misbehave.
  3. Misbehaviour may be the expression of the need for limits to be set.
  4. Building healthy self-esteem requires parents to provide their children with a predictable, safe environment.
  5. Positive attention is an essential ingredient to raising confident, happy children
  6. A child who receives regular positive attention learns that they are a valuable human being and learns ‘I am a worthwhile, interesting person’.
  7. Attention-seeking behaviour in children arises out of very real needs and any attention is better than no attention.
  8. Positive attention means using positive feedback to point out to your child the things that they do well.
  9. Be generous with praise and encouragement when it’s due.
  10. When you reward your child with an incentive be sure to add a comment that causes your child to think about doing the right thing.

This article is part of our weekly ’10 Ways to’ series of parenting tips, and is by One Family’s Director of Children and Parenting Services, Geraldine Kelly. Coming up Next Week : 10 ways to Active Listening and Assertive Parenting.

LIVE Facebook Q&A on this topic with Geraldine, 2 January from 11am-12pm on One Family’s Facebook pageJoin in and post your questions.

Next you might like to read 10 ways to Better Problem Solving  or 10 ways to Understanding How your Child May Feel During Separation

Find out more about our parenting skills programmes and parent supports. For support and information on these or any related topics, call askonefamily on lo-call 1890 66 22 12 or email support@onefamily.ie.