What to Do When My Child Misbehaves?

This past Thursday almost a dozen dads met on campus as part of the Dad’s Brown Bag Lunch Series, to talk with writer and speaker Richard Skinulus about parenting. Skinulus is the author of Parent Talk and other publications on parenting and classroom management and, on Thursday, looked to answer the question: Why does my child misbehave?

Skinulis maintains that there are 4 reasons why children misbehave:

1.) To get attention. The child needs to be at the center of attention, even if it is negative attention.

2. ) To maintain or get into a position of power. The child needs to feel that they’ve won the battle, even if it is a small victory.

3.) For revenge. The child feels slighted by the parents in some way and feels the need to ‘get back’.

4.) Because of assumed inadequacy. The child feels they are not good at certain tasks or skills so they see no use in trying, they act out and just want to be “left alone”.

For each of these reasons, there are appropriate responses that parents can keep in their arsenal to deal with these children. Feel yourself getting annoyed by the constant need for attention? Step back and realize that it’s okay to ignore your child in certain circumstances. Constantly steaming and muttering under your breath, “Who does that kid think they are? The Boss?” Pick your battles and keep the child in the decision making processes, ask their opinion before the battle begins.

These sessions are a great chance for Dads to come out, meet and hear from other Dads and learn valuable skills to make fatherhood more rewarding. Our next session is Thursday, Dec. 2nd and is titled, “The Father-Child Connection”. The facilitator is John Hoffman who is a regular contributor to Today’s Parent magazine and is involved in a Canadian movement to promote engaged fathers. You can sign up for it and find out more information on our website.

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