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When Your Preschooler Misbehaves Intentionally

by Gumer Liston | February 19th, 2009 | Preschool
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Parenting would be a lot easier (and less exciting) if we remembered how exactly our minds worked when we were between the ages three and five. But it’s not how things are and we parents have to struggle (happily) daily to try to read our children’s minds.
misbehave
I have noticed lately that my three year old son (he turns four this coming April) is into misbehaving intentionally. It is as if he is testing his parents’ limits. Every time he succeeds in doing something dangerous without being hurt or without being rebuked, he will proceed to doing something even more dangerous and seehow his parents react. I react to thesebehaviors by trying to introduce a different activity, something that is milder and safer. This technique usually works. My wife has a different approach; she shows our son that she is the disciplinarian and reprimands him and set limits to his actions. Her technique is also effective especially when my style fails to work at times.

There are many reasons why children misbehave, and the reasons vary from one child to another. It is important for parents to discover the reason for their child’s misbehaving. The usual reason could be the desire of the child to get attention. Children who do not get enough positive attention try to find ways to get it, and when they do not get it, they settle for anything, even negative attention will do. Sometimes we misinterpret the playfulness of a very active child as misbehavior. Parents should learn to discern the difference between what is real misbehavior and what is playfulness.

Reacting in a harsh way, like yelling at the child or hitting the child, is not advisable because it is a sign that you are getting out of control, and the child will clearly see this. One of the greatest challenges to parents is how to keep cool when meting out punishment.Rewarding good behavior is always better than giving punishment for bad behavior. Spending as much time as possible with your child will help minimize the chances of your child misbehaving in order to get attention. A child who knows that he is being loved and taken care of rarely misbehaves.

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2 Comments
  1. iceah says:

    punishment should not always be spanking the child or even scolding him. It may be no snacks for this time or no toy at this time.This is teaching him also to be responsible for his actions that when he does this it has a consequence. Another thing is it introduces them that here in our world we have rules to follow too c: This is to prevent chaos c:

  2. Great article. I think the fundamental part of having along with youngsters is talking to them the right way.

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