#Fearless parenting - Why do children misbehave?

in #life3 years ago (edited)

A lot of parents live with the misconception that children want to be 'naughty', and we are responsible to 'discipline' them. The truth is, children are keen to please us, and often seek our approval. When they do behave badly, it is usually due to one or more of the following reasons:


Tiredness or Hunger

When one of our physical needs is unmet, our autonomic nervous system is unbalanced, and unable to regulate our nerves and calm us down. When we're hungry, our body releases stress hormones to raise blood sugar levels. I'm a full grown woman and you don't want to deal with me before I've eaten, but for young children is even harder to stabilize their mood. And I'm sure you all know what it's like to have an over-tired toddler..

Underdeveloped emotional brain

Childrens' higher brains are still very underdeveloped, which means they are simply unable to control their primitive impulse to run around or climb things. Instead of always trying to control our children, we can take them to a safe place where they can run around undisturbed for a little while everyday.

Dealing with big emotions

A lot of the time when children misbehave, it's because they need help to process a big emotion. They might be angry or frustrated with someone, and not have the words to express this. If we try to understand what they're going through and help them, we might rediscover our calm and content child.


The brain registers under-stimulation as a stress. Even adults find it difficult to cope with 'nothing to do', but for children is even harder as they have less resources to find a stimulating activity, so they will resort to destructive behavior.

Picking up on your stress

It might not seem obvious, but children can pick up emotional atmospheres as quickly as dogs. If there's often stress and unhappiness in our family lives, we might find our children consistently screaming or raging to discharge these emotions.

So next time our children are behaving badly, we should take some time to focus on their feelings and experiences, before we look at the behavior.

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This is a lovely post - simple, straightforward, and useful!

Regarding emotions: Karla McLaren is releasing a new children's book soon - all about emotions. I'll have to see if I remember to tag you when it comes out!

An interesting read! This should be read by all parents.

Very useful articile

Go here https://steemit.com/@a-a-a to get your post resteemed to over 72,000 followers.

That's a great read.
Personally I can relate to most of the things u wrote like the fact that children misbehave because of their underdeveloped brains. While that may be true, I don't think we as adults should put in effort to stop the juvenile behavior of our kids while they are still very young because in my experience that was when I began to learn the benefits of doing what's right.
Life is a journey and the juvenile behavior of the little ones is part of that journey so rather than trying to study them like they are malfunctioning we should be grateful for them because youthful years don't last for ever.

Parents should take their time to observe their kids. Sometimes our kids behave in certain ways because they are either lacking something or trying to enjoy the moment. We should learn to guide them right and not deprive them from their fun sometimes when they are running around by asking them to sit on one spot. If we are able to pay attention to our kids, we will be able to understand them better and their way of doing things.

The question largely depends on the age of the children in question but I can comment on my experience with the under 4-year old crowd.

I agree, most children misbehave to test boundaries. But I think there is also a deeper emotional inexperience thing going on here.

For example, when a child hears something they don't like , there is a rush of emotion that is associated with that statement. As an adult know how to 'listen' to our emotions, weigh responses and respond appropriately.

Young children, often inexperienced and unable to label that which they are feeling, can just lash out or get angry or start to cry; all examples of what we might perceive to be 'misbehavior'.

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Great post there. Thats a great point u put up. Will surely give this to others parent to see. Thank you for sharing

I liked your post, I did not know that for those reasons the children share this way. I always thought that I was hungry or because of parents who did not know how to raise.

I have a friend that the child is very naughty, but in the house they have many problems. When I bring it to my house and I take care of it it is very quiet but when it comes with the mom it changes a lot.

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