Every person communicates through some type of behavior, however, learning how to cope with the various behaviors and discovering the root of problem behavior can relieve stress on parents.
Babies communicate by crying when they are hungry or need a diaper change, whereas adults often yawn when they are bored. All behavior whether adults or children is a way of communicating feelings at that specific time. A child that is exhibiting inappropriate behavior is communicating that something is not right or they are upset about something.
Why Children Display Inappropriate Behavior
When children display inappropriate or problem behavior they often do not know the words they need to say to let others know how they feel or what they want. This does not only mean babies that cannot talk, but elementary children as they may not know how to express their feelings using words. However, there is always a reason that children display this type of behavior, such as not wanting to do a specific activity or wanting attention.
There are several different reasons that children display inappropriate or problem behavior. They are trying to send a message to adults that something is wrong.
The reasons could be they are hurt, hungry, wet, bored, tired, scared, angry or sad. Children often have a difficult time expressing they are upset about a situation and therefore act out in ways that cause them to be in trouble with their parents. Being destructive may be a cry out that the child feels like they have no control over a situation, therefore they may lash out and hurt someone. When a child has tried many times to express their feelings or what they need and these needs are not met, they often act out using inappropriate behavior to be heard.
Learn to Interpret Behavior
Parents can learn to understand the behaviors of their children as well as interpret their actions. Every child needs a loving and reliable care giver that supports and guides them every day and especially during hard times. It is very important that parents learn the meaning to the child’s behavior as well as be completely aware of their own actions and behaviors as children learn by watching their parents.
Punishment is Not the Answer
When parents learn the reason of the behavior, they can respond in a better manner. When children have their needs met and receive respect from their parents, there is no longer a need for a child to display inappropriate behavior. Too many times, parents will punish a child or yell at them when they display an inappropriate behavior. The child may stop the behavior for the moment, however, the reason the child was displaying the behavior is still there. Parents should respond to the reason the child was “acting out” and teach the child how to communicate their needs in a positive manner. When yelling, spanking, or punishing, the parent is showing that anger and violence is the solution to problems. By teaching a more positive solution when it comes to solving issues that arise, children will learn better social skills as well as how to solve problems with appropriate behavior.