There are times when children can get on the nerves of adults, it seems that everything they do is to push the adult to the limit, to make him feel bad and end up yelling or punishing the little ones. But it’s not like that. A child never wants to get your attention and less to do it in a bad way. A child who does not have good behavior is not a bad child… he is just a child who needs your understanding.
In many families children may insist on being the center of attention and secure their position with behavior designed to get the parents’ attention again and again. The child who sees how his parents pay attention to him when he misbehaves thanks to negative reinforcement, will misbehave again because he will have learned that in this way his parents pay attention to him, even if it is not really like him would like to.
When negative reinforcement occurs a child will use threats, disappointments, fights, yelling or tantrums to make his parents realize that he needs to be understood. This ‘bad behavior’ can be triggered by the most trivial. If you think your child is misbehaving, have you ever stopped to find out what exactly is wrong?
You son does not want to be a difficult child. He doesn’t want to make you angry… he’s just learned how to build this kind of inadequate communication. He wants to be happy and for everyone to be happy by his side, also in the family. But when a child’s emotional center is activated, a strong alarm signal is sent to the brain because at that moment, the child feels that he is afraid, that he is alone and that he needs help to calm down again.
A child who can’t relax without getting your attention directly is stuck in ‘danger mode’ and can’t get out of it. They’ve probably learned this for a long time. It is difficult to understand and satisfy human emotional needs… People have been trained to see intense emotions as a sign that things are not going well. Many parents believe that they must immediately calm their children down as soon as they flare up, without needing to understand what is behind those overflowing emotions. But if a child stops crying without understanding their emotions and without the adult trying to understand them… it will leave a feeling of emotional upset within the child.
Ignoring a tantrum and pretending it doesn’t exist is not the solution at all. A child needs his parents or adults of reference to be by his side, who understand him and who can connect with him emotionally. For this, you need to accept that your child is suffering and that he needs to express what has led him to behave that way and feel that way.
Accept his feelings, keep in mind that he is learning and that he is creating his world, he is learning to relate and face things… that is why it is so necessary that you respect his sensations and that you help him to understand himself, to put words to his emotions. But if your son gets angry because of a request, then if we consider that she should not be satisfied, she explains it to him even if it is not clear to you if she has fully understood it.
Thus, the message you give is: ‘I understand and attend to your pain, because I am by your side and you can trust me, what you ask for I will not grant you for logical reasons -It is not an imposition, it is a decision-. But I’m here to help you deal with your emotional frustration at not getting what you want.” With this message and little by little, you will recognize his emotions and manage them effectively.