I have four children and as such find that there is always someone being naughty. I have been trying to figure out what makes my kids tick and what makes them misbehave. I have
noticed that the times that I am busiest at work seem to be when my kids muck up the most. It can be very annoying because I am a working mum and sometimes I just need to keep working at home as well.
What I have decided is that at times when my life seems busiest, those are the times that I most need to spend one on one time with my kids. Now I know this sounds crazy to do it when you are busiest. But I have discovered that if I don’t, I just bring more trouble into the house.
Kids crave attention and if they don’t get it in a good way you can be sure that they will do something naughty to get it in a bad way. I can remember when my son David had just turned three years old. I had just had my third baby. He was new born and I also had a 22 month old. I was pretty busy with three youngsters in the house.
Well obviously David didn’t feel that he was getting the attention that he needed. So one day he went into my cupboard and peed all over my dresses! He didn’t have the skills to understand what he was feeling and express himself to me properly. He just knew that he was feeling left out so he did something to get my attention. Boy, did it get my attention. This was a long time ago and because I didn’t know any different then, I think I smacked him for it.
The wise parent would understand that this is a completely normal reaction from a three year old who isn’t getting enough attention. I have learned a lot since that episode. It is our responsibility as parents to figure out what is the cause of our child’s bad behaviour. If you think long and hard you can often come up with an underlying reason.
For me, one of the most helpful things is to just talk with my children regularly, not even at times that they are being naughty. Communicating with your child will help you know if they are experiencing problems at school or if anything in particular is bothering them.
My kids have lots of sibling rivalry issues as there are four of them. So I take them every few months to talk to a Counsellor at Lifeline, whether they think they need it or not. It is good for them to hear stuff from another adult that is not their parent. It also gives them an opportunity to bring up things for discussion that I may have overlooked.
Children are naughty for a reason. Fix the reason behind the naughty behavior and you will stop the bad behaviour.