Why your child is good, even when they are misbehaving

The notion of “good” and “bad” children is deeply rooted in society. People can quickly name the personality traits and behaviors that make a child “good” or “bad.” However, these labels often occur because adults do not understand enough brain development, how children process information, how they learn, and how they communicate their emotions.

Children perceived as “good kids” and respectful tend to be more sensitive and receptive, which enables them to activate responses such as kindness and kindness in trying to appease parents. Children who are perceived as “bad,” disrespectful, rebellious, or challenging tend to exhibit behaviors such as being opinionated, open, and nonconforming. One is no better than the other, they are simply different ways in which children express their inner experience.

Understand your child’s brain development

The human brain begins development before birth and does not fully develop until the age of 25. The amygdala, which helps people understand the impact of their actions, is the last part of the brain that develops. Meanwhile, from birth to age five, the brain is developing everything from sensory processing to rational thinking. A child’s ability for more complex thinking does not develop until the age of 12 to 18. If it seems like your child can’t think rationally, it’s literally because your brain isn’t yet equipped to do so.

Fight / flight protection responses

Another factor that can affect your child’s reasoning is when, as Dr. Daniel Siegel calls it, they “turn the lid on.” That’s when your child or teen’s emotions become so overwhelming that they lose access to the front of their brain and can’t think or act clearly. At times, it is common for children to kick, scream, become restless and restless, throw things, freeze, argue, or even find it difficult to form a coherent sentence or thought. The best thing to do when this happens is to pause, pause, and let your brain engage in other activities so that your child’s rational brain can reconnect.

It is much easier to have compassion and be more open to finding solutions when you understand that your child is not being difficult. Rather, they are experiencing difficult times and overwhelming emotions.

Even in your most difficult times, what your child wants most is connection

While it may not seem like it at the moment, what a child wants most is love and connection. It can be difficult for your child to feel connected to you when they feel misunderstood or unheard. That’s why seeing your child’s well-being, especially in their difficult times, can be helpful in controlling difficult emotions.

Listen carefully

Listen to your children with the intention of understanding, not with the intention of responding. Children often feel frustrated when they feel that you are not in tune with what they are saying. A child who does not feel listened to can raise his voice in the hope that his parents will hear them. This is an intuitive, unconscious response.

Think about what they said

Tell your child what you understand. When you think about what they said, show them two things. 1) In fact, you are listening. 2) Understand their point and experience, even when you disagree with them.

Validate your experience

People want to know that their emotions make sense, and your children are no different. Let them know that it makes sense to feel the way they do and that it’s okay for them to feel what they feel.

Reaffirm your love for them

It is important for children to know that even in the most difficult times, they are loved. When children know they are loved, whatever happens, it gives them a sense of security and unconditional connection. When children value the connection they have with their parents, they are more likely to try to repair themselves and communicate healthily.

Model the behavior you want your child to learn

If you ask your child to communicate with their words while shouting at them, you are shaping unwanted behavior. Learn to model the way you want your child to communicate with you. The more they see and experience it, the easier it will be for them to learn.


Learn more about helping children manage great emotions with Emotion Coaching. Also, read Dr. John Gottman “Creating an emotionally intelligent child.”

#child #good #misbehaving

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