There are probably as many answers to that question as there are children.
To say that one particular factor is the sole cause of misbehavior would
be misguided and highly inaccurate. There are a number of biological, psychological,
and environmental factors that work together to influence a child's potential
for misbehavior. Here are some examples:
Biological Factors: Psychological Factors: Environmental Factors:
Developmental Disorder Trauma
Ineffective Coping Skills
Low Self-Esteem Diet/Nutrition
Exposure to Violence
Now that we have listed at some of the influences of misbehavior, let's
look at the two biggest motivations of misbehavior: ATTENTION and POWER/CONTROL
For many children, negative attention is better than no attention at
all. If your child appears to be acting out with the purpose of gaining
attention, then the solution is simple: GIVE YOUR CHILD MORE ATTENTION
(but do so when he or she is behaving appropriately).
* Acknowledge your child when he or she is being positive.
* Get to know your child by spending more time talking and asking non-intrusive
* Devote a segment of time each day to spend quality time together.
* Ignore behaviors that are meant to annoy - such as whining, mocking,
complaining, begging, pouting, etc.
Many negative behaviors are brought about by the need to exert power
and/or control over others. Some of the more common behaviors of children
motivated by power and control are: dawdling, picky eating, bossiness,
always having to be "first," passive-aggressiveness, threatening, engaging
in power struggles, etc. These children will typically respond better when
given choices rather than demands. Choices allow children to "control"
Gaining insight into the influences and/or motivations of your child's
misbehavior will certainly help you to better handle these behaviors as
you are confronted with them. Start by minimizing the negative environmental
factors in your child's life as much as you can. Next, consider having
your child assessed for biological and/ or psychological problems. Remember
to keep the lines of communication open and take the time that is needed
to care for yourself. Help is only a phone call or support group away!
About The Author
Chris Theisen is the author of The Parent Coach Plan located at his