• Spectrum of Life

Are Your Kids Really Being Naughty?

It seems to be a common challenge that parents came across this along the pathway of raising their kids.

As I joined the field of psychology, I have been meeting lots of parents who came to me for “remedies” or “solution” for naughty behaviours. It seems to be a common challenge that parents came across this along the pathway of raising their kids.

Until I read through an article by Dr. Erin Leyba, it is important for parents nowadays to obtain the awareness of “why my children are being cranky?”. This remind us to look at children’s behaviour through a thoughtful lens, recognizing how unpleasant behaviours as a response to environmental conditions, developmental phases, or our own actions. It will let us respond proactively and definitely with much more compassion.

Impulses control.

“Ever say to your kid, “Don’t throw that!” and they throw it anyway? Research suggests that the brain regions involved in self-control are immature at birth and don’t fully mature until the end of adolescence, which explains why developing self-control is a “long, slow process”. A recent survey revealed that many parents assume children can do things at earlier ages than child-development experts know to be true. For example, 56 percent of parents felt that children under the age of 3 should be able to resist the desire to do something forbidden, whereas most children don’t master this skill until age three-and-a-half or four. Reminding ourselves that kids can't always manage impulses (because their brains aren't fully developed) can inspire gentler reactions to their behaviour.”

To control impulses is not to totally ignore the unwanted behaviour, but our responses to the behaviour itself would play a crucial role. If a more level, gentler manner of responses are given, the child might have felt being respected and would be more likely to follow the instructions given.

Never overstimulate.

“We take our kids to Target, the park, and their sister’s play in a single morning, and inevitably see meltdowns, hyperactivity, or outright resistance. Jam-packed schedules, overstimulation, and exhaustion are hallmarks of modern family life. Research suggests that 28 percent of Americans “always feel rushed” and 45 percent report having “no excess time” (Robinson, 2013). Kim John Payne, author of Simplicity Parenting, argues that children experience a “cumulative stress reaction” from too much enrichment, activity, choice, and toys. He asserts that kids need tons of “down time” to balance their “up time” (Payne, 2010). When we build in plenty of quiet time, playtime, and rest time, children’s behavior often improves dramatically.”