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Are You Struggling With Naughty Kids?

Need some help with child discipline or how to deal with bad behaviour? We have loads of tips for better child behavior management here - so take a deep breath, make a cup of tea and take some time out to re-group.

Naughty Boy Quote by Annie Desantis
First off you need to separate mistakes from acting up. Kids often can't see the bigger picture or think through the consequences of their behaviour. Naughty children are often just kids who are in the moment, acting without thought and creating mayhem.

When kids mess up and break something or hurt someone because they were not mindful enough of the effects of their actions. So our job as parents are to call a halt calmly and help them to work out how to fix the situation.

If we get angry and start handing out punishments, we do nothing to teach our kids to to develop empathy or to take responsibility for their actions.

Kids who are acting up because they have learned to get attention with fighting and yelling need different strategies for child behavior management.

So if your child seems to have a pattern of bad behaviour, then you need to look at what the message is underneath. More than likely they are not actually naughty kids - they are trying to let you know something is not OK.

What Can You Do About Bad Behaviour?

Quote on child discipline by Annie Desantis
I know it is not always easy, but your job as a parent is to make sure they are getting their needs filled in positive, constructive ways, not getting their attention by being naughty children.


The best way you can do this is to reinforce their good behavior. Make sure you spend plenty of quality time reading, playing and talking to your children. Parents sometimes think they are spending all their time doing things for their kids because they have washed clothes, cooked meals, got them off to school etc. Sure kids need those basic requirements, but most importantly they need their spiritual and emotional needs met and they need to be extended and stimulated mentally.

And you are the BEST person to do that. Way better than TV, way better than teachers or school, way better than the Internet.


Numerous studies show children who have lots of adult conversation, eye contact, are read stories, and play lots of games with their parents, excel at school, and are better developed socially.

So if you have naughty kids, maybe they are not getting enough positive interaction with you, or not being challenged and extended?

Kids need positive attention WITHOUT having to earn it by being good.

Encourage Responsibility

You can let them know that you believe they are really capable of so much more, get them involved in something with you that encourages them to ask questions, or to master a skill.

Instead of thinking you are too busy to give them attention - get them involved in what you are doing. Helping you cook, measuring quantities, using tools, reading labels or recipes are fantastic learning opportunities along with heading off bad behaviour because you are giving them your attention.

My children had to prepare two meals a week each from the time they were 12 years old. We had some basic nutritional guidelines, but they tried out all sorts of recipes, and loved getting all the appreciation from the rest of the family. Misbehaving children at the dinner table was never an issue when they were the chef!

Older children can take responsibility for developing a set of instructions for using the DVD player (many of us adults find that a challenge!) - or solving a problem with household storage. You might be surprised how skilled your teenager is!

Families that play and communicate together are far better equipped to weather the challenges of family life. Focus on building strong relationships with your children rather than emphasising their bad behaviour and you will be less likely to be tearing your hair out with naughty kids!

More Articles To Help With Child Behavior Management

Naughty Kids?
Why do kids misbehave? More ideas for dealing with difficult issues, and a few challenges to think differently about your family.

Disciplining Children
More ideas on handling bad behavior in children read my article on disciplining children.

Question From a Parent about Misbehavior
You will find lots of ideas in my answer to a Parenting Question. This Mom wrote in to ask for some help with a young child who was rude and misbehaving. You will also find loads of other Questions answered that will give you some ideas.

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.

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.

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As a Parent Coach, I love empowering and inspiring parents, but it is much more rewarding to see children learning skills that will set them up for life.
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