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A Misbehaving Child Is a Misunderstood Child

Doctor - Parenting Consultant Parenting Author - Juggernaut Books Founder WhatParentsAsk


Most children misbehave because they want to be heard and seen

Advik misbehaves in class. His teacher shouts at him and asks him to leave the class. A note is sent to the Advik’s parents – telling them about his misbehaviour. They get angry and tell him that he can’t go down to play in the evening.

This is the usual sequence of events when a child misbehaves.

When we see a child misbehave – as adults we respond by clamping down on them with discipline – usually in the form of punishment.

We think that we will punish the bad behaviour out of the child. But that never happens.

The child misbehaves again and again. He gets punished again and again. And ultimately becomes defiant and immune to punishment.

Why does this happen?

Because none of the adults stop to ask why the child is misbehaving.

Most children misbehave because they want to be heard and seen.

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When a child misbehaves – stop and ask “WHY?”

Is the child struggling with academics?

When children struggle with academics and don’t know whom to turn to for help – they begin to misbehave, in the hope that someone will notice and do something about it.

Unfortunately, the adults around them react with punishment which isolates the child further and leads to more bad behaviour.

Poor performance in school is the commonest cause of misbehaviour.

In this case the misbehaviour is a sign of depression and despair.

If your child misbehaves in school –

  1. Be gentle at home – let the home be a safe space.
  2. Help your child succeed.
  3. Repeatedly tell your child that you are on their side and not against them in whatever they do.

A misbehaving child is a misunderstood child. Try to understand your child and the misbehaviour will disappear.

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2021 Dr Debmita Dutta

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