kids misbehaving

8 Reasons Your Kids are Misbehaving

Every parent deals with bad behavior from their kids from time to time.

I can remember a time in particular when one of our boys seemed to be repeatedly pushing his siblings and hitting them with whatever he happened to have in his hand at the moment.  What we came to realize was that he was actually playing out in real life what he had been recently exposed to through some action-packed video games and movies.

Sometimes, as parents, we’re guilty of thinking that our kids are just being bad when there may be more going on underneath the surface that we need to be paying attention to. So what are some of the reasons why kids misbehave?

While there may be many reasons for kids misbehaving, here are 8 that every parent must consider:

1. They have an irregular/unhealthy diet.

Bottom line – What kids eat has an effect on how they behave.  Doctors have been saying it for years, but it’s true – healthy eating encourages better behavior.

2. They have a lack of consistent discipline.

Yes, good old-fashioned discipline still works and is a cornerstone of practical and successful parenting. Discipline may take on different forms for different families, but nonetheless, it’s needed, and consistency is the key.

3. They are manipulating you.

I’ve seen it more times than I care to count – parents being controlled by their little ones, rather than the other way around. Sadly, it’s usually obvious to everyone else, except the parents.  Kids know how to push buttons to test us and see what will happen and what they can and can’t get away with.  This is often especially true when in a public setting or when others outside of the family are present. A wise parent will take notice and unapologetically win these small battles, by dealing with the situation, regardless of the inconvenience.

4. They are being negatively influenced.

This could be from the things they watch, the games they play, or the friends they spend time with. Kids are great imitators of what they see and hear.

5. They have too much screen time.

Kids are spending more time in front of screens and less time in actual physical activity, and sadly, it can affect both their health and their behavior.  According to the Mayo Clinic, elementary children spending more than two hours a day on screen time are more likely to struggle with obesity and behavioral problems, among other things. Never feel bad for requiring your kids to play outside or use their imagination to have fun.

6. They’re not getting enough of your attention.

Kids will knowingly misbehave if they find that it gets them the attention they crave but are lacking. [Tweet This]

7. They are under stress or are angry.

Kids have struggles and problems too. It may be family problems, school problems, or relationship problems.  All of this can have a negative effect upon the way that they behave.

8. They’re just being kids.

Let’s face it… kids misbehave.  Sometimes it’s because they’re bored or tired, and sometimes it’s because they’re just simply choosing to be bad.  Kids misbehave because they’re kids… they need our direction. Sometimes they need our discipline. They always need our unconditional love.

Sound Off

What do you think are some other reasons behind kids misbehaving?

Andrew Linder

Andrew is a husband and the father of four awesome kids. He is passionate about intentional parenting and helping other parents and leaders effectively reach the next generation.

  • Julie

    Add lack of adequate sleep to this list. My kids were cranky and argumentative when they didn’t have enough sleep.

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