Rolling eyes, shrugging shoulders, laughing, smiling, being respectful, speaking out loud, disengaged, paying attention… what do all these things have in common? They are all forms of behavior. Behavior is defined as the way one acts or conducts themselves, especially towards others. These are just a few examples of behaviors that are modeled throughout our daily lives. Whether negative or positive, behavior is a way to communicate our feelings, emotions, and needs.
Children, because they are in a developmental stage, are not yet equipped with the tools and skills to communicate effectively. Their vocabulary is not fully developed, they are experiencing emotions every day (some they may have never felt before), or they are simply testing their boundaries. So, they use their behavior to communicate what they are thinking, what they are feeling, or something they may not be able to verbalize. No child wakes up in the morning and says to themselves, “I’m going to go downstairs and find ways can I make my mom and dad angry!”
A child’s behavior can be influenced by many things such as seeking attention, testing limits, imitation, attempts at independence, overwhelming emotions, unmet needs, seeking control, learned behavior, and mental health.
Handling concerning behaviors is a part of parenting, therefore we have to implement strategies to make sure that, as parents, we are being proactive. These strategies should help to understand, teach, and model wanted behaviors. There are many techniques that can be put in place to combat concerning behavior that may occur. Techniques that can make your parenting journey easier, if implemented correctly. Many don’t realize the impact of simply putting processes and expectations into place and the effect it can have on the quality of the relationship between parent and child.
If you’re interested in learning about these techniques that can effectively minimize behavioral concerns at home, check out my course created just parents, Through their eyes: A course in Behavior Management.