Every parent deals with kids misbehaving from time to time. I can remember a time one of our boys repeatedly pushed and hit his siblings with whatever he happened to have in his hand. What we came to realize was he was actually acting out in real life what he had seen in some action-packed video games and movies.
Sometimes, as parents, we think our kids are just being bad when there may be more going on under the surface that we need to address. Why do 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 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 except the parents. Kids know how to push buttons to test us and see what will happen and what they can get away with. This is often especially true in public 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 inconvenience.
4. They are being negatively influenced.
This could be from the shows or movies 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. Never feel bad for requiring your kids to play outside or to use their imagination to have fun.Kids will knowingly misbehave if they find that it gets them the attention they crave but are lacking.
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.
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 on behavior.
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 simply choosing to be bad. Kids misbehave because they’re kids and they need our direction. Sometimes they need our discipline. And they always need our unconditional love.
Sound off: What do you think are some other reasons for kids misbehaving?
Huddle Up Question
Huddle up with your kids and ask, “Why is it important to obey your parents right away?”