We said children misbehave because they want attention, because they want to control the parent, they want to get back at the parent with revenge, or just give up and say “I cannot “. Children don’t know their misbehaviour has a goal. They may also use the same misbehaviour to seek different goals. A parent’s own behaviour can re-enforce a child’s misbehaviour.
The key to knowing the goal is to look at the following clues:
- How the child behaves;
- How you feel about the behaviour;
- What you do in response to the behaviour
- How the child responds to your response
Goal of REVENGE-seeking behaviour can be ACTIVE such as
- being rude;
- saying hurtful things;
- being violent.
Goal of REVENGE seeking behaviour can be PASSIVE, such as
- giving hurtful looks;
- hurtfully refusing to cooperate
- delaying completing a task given,
- or being sloppy in completing it.
IT MAY BE MORE HELPFUL IF YOU:
- Refuse to feel hurt or angry;
- Don’t retaliate;
- At other times work to build trust;
- Help child feel loved;
- Say thank you when child helps;
- Notice and appreciate when child contributes.