When we recognize unwanted children’s behaviors as reactions to environmental conditions, developmental stages, or our own actions, it allows us to respond proactively and with much more compassion.
Here are 10 ways kids can appear to act “mean”, but they really aren’t.
1. Do not control the impulses.
Have you ever said to your child, âDon’t throw this away! And they launch it anyway? suggests that the regions of the brain involved in self-control are immature at birth and do not fully mature until late adolescence, which is why the development of self-control is a âlong and slow processâ.
A found that many parents assume children can do things at earlier ages than child development experts realize. For example, 56% of parents believe that children under the age of 3 should be able to resist the desire to do something forbidden, while most children do not master this skill until they are 3 years old. and a half or 4 years.
Remembering that children cannot always manage their impulses (because their brains are not fully developed) can inspire smoother reactions to their behavior.
We take our kids to Target, the park, and their sister’s play in just one morning, and inevitably see slumps, hyperactivity, or outright resistance. Busy schedules, overstimulation and exhaustion are hallmarks of modern family life.
suggests that 28% of Americans âalways feel rushedâ and 45% say they have âno excess timeâ. Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity , argues that children experience a âcumulative stress responseâ from too much enrichment, activity, choice and toys. He says kids need a lot of âdowntimeâ to balance their âuptimeâ.
When we allow plenty of quiet time, playtime, and rest, children’s behavior often improves dramatically.
3. Basic conditions.
Have you ever been “hungry” – angry because you are hungry – or completely lost in patience with lack of sleep? Small children are ten times more affected by these âbasic conditionsâ of being tired, hungry, thirsty, too sweet or sick. Children’s ability to deal with their emotions and behavior is greatly reduced when they are tired.
Many parents also notice a drastic change in children’s behavior about an hour before meals, if they wake up at night, or fall ill. Children cannot always communicate or “help themselves” with a snack, Tylenol, water or a nap like adults can.
4. Expression of great feelings.
As adults, we have been taught to tame and hide our great emotions, often by stuffing them, moving them or distracting them. Kids can’t do that yet.
Early childhood educator has a great phrase for when kids display strong feelings such as screaming, screaming, or crying. She suggests that parents “let the feelings be” by not reacting or punishing children when they express powerful emotions.
5. Need development for tons of movement.
“Stop chasing your brother around the table!” “Stop fighting with swords with those pieces of cardboard!” “Stop jumping off the couch!” “
Children have a developmental need for tons of movement. They have a tremendous need to spend time outdoors, ride bicycles and scooters, play difficult games and do somersaults, crawl under objects, swing from objects, jump from objects. ‘objects and run around objects. Instead of calling a child “bad” when acting forcefully, it may be best to arrange a quick visit to the playground or a walk around the neighborhood.
6. Development wired to resist and become independent.
Every day at 40 and 50 degrees, it resulted in an argument in the house of a family. A first grader insisted it was warm enough to wear shorts, while mom said the weather called for pants. postulates that toddlers try to do things on their own and preschoolers take initiative and make their own plans.
Even though it’s annoying when a kid picks your tomatoes while they’re still green, cuts their hair, or makes a fort with eight freshly laundered sheets, they’re doing exactly what they’re supposed to do: try to make their own. plans, go their separate ways, make their own decisions and become their own little independent people.
7. Strengths that trip them up.
We all have strengths that can trip us up too. Maybe we’re incredibly focused, but can’t transition very easily. We may be intuitive and sensitive, but take the negative moods of others like a sponge.
Children are similar. They may be driven to school, but have difficulty coping when they make a mistake (for example, yelling when they make a mistake). They can be cautious and safe, but resistant to new activities (refusing to go to baseball practice). They can live in the moment, but are not so organized (letting their bedroom floor be covered with toys).
Recognizing when a child’s unwanted behaviors are really the downside, just like ours, can help us respond with more understanding.
8. Fierce need to play.
Your child paints her face with yogurt, wants you to chase her and “catch” her when you try to brush her teeth, or put on daddy’s shoes instead of hers when you rush out the door. Some of the seemingly ‘bad’ behaviors of children are what calls “deals” for you to play with them.
Kids love to be silly and clumsy. They rejoice in the connection that arises from shared laughter and love the elements of novelty, surprise and excitement.
Play often takes longer and therefore interferes with parents’ own calendars and agendas, which can feel like resistance and meanness even when it doesn’t. When parents devote a lot of play time to the day, kids don’t have to beg so hard when trying to get them out.
9. Reaction to parents’ moods.
Several on emotional contagion found that it only takes a few milliseconds for emotions like enthusiasm and joy, as well as sadness, fear and anger, to pass from person to person, and this is often occurs without either person realizing it. Children are particularly sensitive to the mood of their parents. If we are stressed, distracted, depressed, or always on the verge of frustration, children mimic these moods.
When we are peaceful and grounded, children are inspired by it instead.
10. Responding to inconsistent limits.
At a ball game, you buy M & Ms for your child. The next day you say, “No, this will ruin your dinner” and your child screams and complains. One evening you ask your child, âWhat do you want for dinner? And the next night you say, “We’re eating lasagna, you can’t have anything different,” and your kids protest the incongruity.
When parents don’t respect boundaries, it naturally triggers children’s frustration and prompts them to whine, cry or scream. Just like adults, children want (and need) to know what to expect. Any effort to be 100% consistent with boundaries, limits and routines will seriously improve children’s behavior.
From providing play spaces to promoting greater independence, there are ways to help toddlers overcome these unwanted behaviors. Here are some of our favorite products that can help you.
A little autonomy can go a long way. This simple, durable step stool is easy to carry for little ones from the bathroom to the kitchen to help themselves when possible.
When strong feelings take hold of your child, having the words to express their feelings can be extremely helpful. Slumberkins Super Soft Hugs come with a mantra book and card that helps kids better understand what they’re feeling and gives them the tools to express it.
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