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Misbehaving Children
Are They Really Being Naughty Children?

Ever Wondered:
  • How can I deal with misbehaving children?
  • What can I do about bad behaviour?
  • Why are my children misbehaving?
  • Is my child's behaviour normal?
  • Are children deliberately naughty?
Annie Quote on Misbehaving Children

I often have parents tell me they find it really hard to deal with misbehaving children. But are they really naughty children?

Here's an idea for you to entertain: Bad behavior in kids is a good thing!

What??? I'm joking right?

Parents also say - he's just trying to get attention! Of course he is! And even though it is sometimes really hard for parents to handle bad behaviour, the number one reason children misbehave is they have unmet needs.

Difficult child behaviour such as tantrums or acting up, are your child's way of telling you they are unhappy, frustrated or angry.

Many children start to learn that throwing a tantrum is a great way to get attention. And even negative attention is better than none!

New Take On Misbehaving Children

children misbehaving

Kid's Driving You Crazy?

Misbehaving children - think about it - a MIS-take or MIS-behaving, is just something that has missed.

A mistake is a learning opportunity - not something bad or wrong.

So your job as a parent is to help your child to get in alignment with what they want, and find positive ways to get it.

And most importantly, to understand that naughty children, who are playing up for attention do need attention. That is not a bad thing at all. Honor their feelings, and help them find ways of getting what they want without bad behaviour.

No, this does not mean giving in to tantrums or rewarding them for bad behaviour.

Child Behaviour = Family Barometer

The other challenge I would offer you when you have misbehaving children is to ask yourself what is going on with you? Our children act as a mirror for what is happening around them. If you are out of sync, then your child will pick it up quicker than anyone.

Unruly child behaviour is often more about the disharmony in the home, a barometer if you like of what is happening. Maybe you and Dad had a fight last night, maybe you are frustrated with your job, maybe you are not doing the things that feed your soul?

If Mom or Dad are running on empty you are likely to have little left to put into your kids. Like the instructions on a flight - you MUST look after yourself first so you can be there for your kids.

How Do Parents Deal With Frustration?

Bad Behaviour In Families

Angry Dad

Showing your kids how you get yourself back on track and feeling positive again, is the most powerful lesson in managing bad behaviour.

When you tell them how you feel when you are frustrated or angry, your are showing them that feelings are not bad or wrong. Our strong feelings are just telling us something is out of whack! If you often feel you loose control, or have trouble with anger you might want to read my article to help angry parents.

Then the best way kids learn is if YOU model to them what you do when you are grumpy and you want to shift it.

Take a walk, have a bath, play some music, do a grumpy dance. I guarantee you if you get them to help you do a grumpy dance, no-one will stay grumpy for long!

Then you come back and say I'm starting to feel better now, I love you so much - let's have a cuddle and read a story or I need a hug. They learn from what you are doing to handle strong feelings.

You will get far more satisfaction out of parenting when you have as much fun as possible and reinforce your children getting attention in positive ways. Make sure they know, their bad behaviour is nothing to do with how much you love them. NEVER NEVER make compliance a condition of your love and approval.

Use their challenging behaviour as a signal to you that they have unmet needs and find ways to encourage them to get those needs met in more productive ways.

Teach Skills Rather Than Struggling With Constant Discipline Issues

Instead of struggling with misbehaving children, I work from the premise that kids need to learn new skills in order to behave differently. For many years I have run Super Skills 4 Kids as an extensive course teaching kids (and parents) to reach their goals - be it a skill goal, or behavioral goal.

I am very excited to have finally re-developed this course into a home-study course, available online, that is accessable to lots more families.

Super Skills 4 Kids is packed with tools and comes with a bonus workbook. I've had many parents say they use many of the techniques for themselves! To find out how you can work with your kids to manage their behaviour differently, visit:

Coaching To Help You Deal With Bad Behaviour

Throughout the site you'll find lots of tips to inspire or support you in disciplining children with love and respect, and empowering your children to develop their internal guidance and self discipline.

You can also get your questions answered online with our mini-coaching service, Ask Annie.

There are lots of questions posted, and you may find some ideas from questions other parents have asked. Feel free to post comments too, we love interaction with our readers!



More Help with Misbehaving Children

Misbehaving Children and Discipline
For more ideas on handling misbehaving children read my article on disciplining children.

Naughty Kids?
Some child behavior management ideas to help turn your little ratbags into angels!

Defiant Children are a parent's worst nightmare - how do you cope with child behavior that seems to be destroying the family? Most parents want child modification programs to radically change the child! Read my pointers, plus there is a recommendation for a very good program that will help with extreme child behavior.

Question From a Parent about Misbehaving Children
You will find lots of ideas in my answers to Parenting Questions. This Mom wrote in to ask for some help with a young child who was rude and misbehaving.

Teen Problems
Teenage years can be a delight and a challenge for many parents. Here's some ideas on handling some of those tricky times and learning to negotiate with teenagers.

Teenage Behavior
This Audio answers questions from readers about communicating with teenagers. You can listen to it from the page, and there is an overview also.

Child Development
One of the keys to understanding child behaviour, is understanding what is appropriate for the child's age. Click here for an overview with links to more in depth stages.


Problem Solving 4 Kids
Only $12.99

Problem Solving 4 Kids E-book

Learn my 7 Step Problem Solving 4 Kids Process
A step by step guide to teach your kids to be solution orientated.


Super Skills 4 Kids Home Study Course

Ask Annie Your Parenting Questions

In Depth Parent Coaching Online.
Your Questions and my Answer become a page here on our website, so together we inspire and help other Parents.




Children keep us in check. Their laughter prevents our hearts from hardening. Their dreams ensure we never lose our drive to make ours a better world.

Queen Rania of Jordan

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