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Your Child’s 6 Behaviors That Hide A BIG Problem

Your Child’s 6 Behaviors That Hide A BIG Problem

Ignoring your child’s misbehavior is a legitimate parenting strategy.

It shows your toddler that his misbehavior doesn’t attract your attention.
When you think about it, it proves that his negative attention-seeking isn’t paying off.

It also means the child is less likely to do it again in the future.

But why do children seek their parents’ attention in negative ways?

  • Lack of positive attention

If a child feels he’s not getting enough positive attention from his parents, he’ll seek out negative attention to get noticed.

  • Behavioral modeling

Children often learn behaviors from their environment.

If they see others, including their parents or siblings, behaving negatively to attract attention or express their emotions, they are likely to imitate these actions.

  • Emotional expression

Children have not yet developed mature ways of expressing their emotions.

Negative behavior is therefore their way of expressing frustration, anger, sadness or other emotions they find difficult to communicate.

  • Testing limits

Children naturally test limits as they grow and learn about the world around them.
Seeking negative attention is a way for them to understand the limits of acceptable behavior.

  • Reinforcement

If a negative behavior has attracted attention in the past, the child will continue to use it as a strategy, even if it’s not the result the parents want.

  • Underlying problems

Sometimes, negative attention-seeking behavior can be a symptom of deeper emotional or psychological problems, such as anxiety, depression or a need for control.

That’s what we’re going to tackle in this article!

  • Attention as validation

Attention, even if negative, is felt as validation by the child.

He may interpret any attention, even punishment, as better than being ignored.

However, not all behaviors should be ignored!

Ignoring them can lead to bigger problems!

Beware of these small, inappropriate behaviors and try to resolve them as quickly as possible.

1. He interrupts you when you’re talking

Your child may be excited and want to talk to you about an important moment in his day.

When you allow your child to join your conversation, you’re letting him or her know that all is well.

This teaches your child not only to be attentive to others, but also to spend his time.

The next time your child interrupts you mid-conversation, let him know you’re busy.

Offer them toys or games to play with.

If he keeps interrupting, point him in the right direction.

The underlying problem

Constant interruptions indicate that the child has not learned to respect limits, including those of a conversation.

Some children interrupt because they are impulsive and have difficulty waiting their turn to speak.

This shows that they are still in the process of acquiring appropriate social skills, such as taking turns in conversation.

Finally, in some cases, frequent interruptions may be a symptom of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) or another developmental problem that affects impulse control and social skills.

2. Your child exaggerates the truth

Perhaps your child has told you he’s eaten his whole plate, when in reality he’s barely touched the food.

This little lie isn’t really harmful, but it’s not factual either.

You might think it’s no big deal, but over time, lying can get worse.

Remember that when a child is between two and four years old, he or she doesn’t know exactly what’s true.

But after that, they begin to understand.

When he tells the truth, praise him a lot.

Encourage your child to be honest, even if it means getting into trouble.

The underlying problem

One of the most common reasons children lie is to avoid getting into trouble or suffering the consequences of their actions.

So be careful how you react!

Secondly, children who lack self-confidence or fear disappointing their parents resort to lying to avoid confrontation or negative comments.

Some children lie to attract attention or make themselves feel more important.

Finally, children lie because they lack the skills to express themselves effectively.

3. He pretends he can’t hear you

Maybe you did it yourself when you were a kid!

You shouldn’t have to repeat yourself three or four times to get your child to pick up his toys or get into the car.

Remember, you’re training your child to behave respectfully.

If you don’t take care of it at first, the situation will only get worse later on.

The underlying problem

The child may genuinely have difficulty concentrating, preventing him or her from processing and responding to verbal cues.

Of course, he may choose to listen only to what suits him, thus avoiding doing what he doesn’t want to do.

There may also be underlying communication difficulties that make it difficult for the child to understand or respond effectively to verbal instructions.

Pretending not to hear can also be a way for the child to assert control or independence in a power struggle with parents.

In some cases, it’s a sign of emotional distress or overwhelm.

4. Your child plays too rough

You know you have to act when your child hits someone else, but you can’t ignore more subtle acts of aggression, like pushing a younger sibling.

You have to realize this early on, or it will get out of hand by the age of eight.

Plus, it sends the message that there’s nothing wrong with hurting people.

Deal with aggressive behavior immediately.

Pull your child away and let them know it’s not acceptable!

The underlying problem

Children who play too rough don’t fully understand the limits of others.

They are not aware of how their actions can hurt or embarrass others.

Moreover, rough play is a manifestation of underlying aggression or anger issues.

Some children have difficulty empathizing, which makes it hard for them to recognize that their actions hurt others during play.

In addition, children with sensory processing problems seek out rough play to regulate their sensory stimuli.

Indeed, they don’t realize that their actions are too intense or aggressive for others.

Finally, aggressive or rough play can be a sign of underlying stress or trauma.

5. Stealing treats

I know it’s nice when your child can have a snack and turn on the TV without your help.

It might even be cute when your two-year-old grabs a cookie off the counter without asking.

However, there will be a situation when he does it away from home, so it’s important to establish some internal rules.

Make sure your child knows the rules, because that alone will help him follow them.

The underlying problem

Children may have difficulty controlling their impulses, especially when it comes to food.

He acts on his immediate desires without regard for consequences or social norms, such as asking permission.

In some cases, the child takes food without asking because he’s really hungry and thinks he can’t wait for permission.

This may indicate that he’s not eating enough at mealtimes, or that he has particular food preferences that aren’t being met.

Finally, he may turn to food for comfort or to cope with emotions such as stress, boredom or sadness.

6. He challenges you

You might think that this attitude begins in adolescence, but it starts much earlier.

Preschoolers imitate their parents’ behavior to see what kind of reaction they’ll get.

Parents ignore it because they think it’s a phase.

But if you ignore it, it will be much worse later.

You’ll have a teenager with an attitude problem that you may feel you can’t control.

The underlying problem

Children who find it difficult to regulate their emotions are provocative when they feel overwhelmed, frustrated or angry.

Some children defy authority to attract attention or provoke a reaction from their parents.

Provocative behavior also stems from a desire for control over one’s own life or environment.

Finally, defiance can sometimes be a symptom of underlying problems such as anxiety, depression, trauma or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).