How To Understand Your Child’s Misbehaviour



Hi I am Pauline Pollard, Child self-esteem coach and creator of Empowered Parent, Confident child Program.

Today I will be chatting to you about How to understand your child’s misbehaviour.


Video Transcript – How to understand your child’s misbehaviour

Have you experienced times with your child when they are really upset and they may express this by – fighting with you, or maybe disrespecting you, rolling their eyes, back chat or storming off on you and it really pushes your buttons.

And in that moment you lash out and  yell, put them in time out or punish your child and then……..straight after you feel guilty and regret that you reacted in such a way.

If you said YES then believe me you are not alone – I have been in this place and most of my clients come to me with this issue.

So today I have 4 tips that will really help you understanding your child’s misbehaviour – why they are lashing out and how you can then choose a different approach.

you can pinpoint the root cause of the misbehaviour then you can choose a different approach and be more successful at reducing the behaviour.


1. Misbehaviour is the result of a deeper issue going on for your child.

If you can imagine it is like a language and they are trying to communicate a message.


It is a way of them expressing that there is something deeper that is triggering this behaviour in the first place.


And some of the things they may be feeling are:

  • Overwhelm – They feel out of control and are not sure how to deal with their big emotions


  • They may feel anger – which is a sign they are feeling frustrated


  • They may be showing resistance to what you are asking them to do, this may be because they are scared of change and they need you to take the time to explain and teach them.


  • Or they may feel they don’t have any choices and they are being told what to do all the time


So, have a look at these points and see if any ring true.

When our child is consistently acting out we can sometimes take their behaviour as a personal attack on us.

Either we feel they are deliberately trying to upset us or we feel that their behaviour is a direct reflection on whether we are a good parent.

So, please don’t take their behaviour personally.

Just put your stuff aside and try and understand where they are coming from –

listen to your child,

be compassionate and show them the love they really need during these challenging times.


Yes, I agree it can be so difficult when we are really busy ‘worked up’ – but we need to use tools to calm ourselves first and raise our energy

Tools as simple as pausing in the moment and taking some slow deep breaths to ground our own energy.

Then we can really support our child rather than joining in on that lower battle energy.

That energy just fuels the fire and there are no positive outcomes.

When we can use different tools and techniques first to raise our own energy we are able to approach the situation from LOVE.

This is a beautiful supportive energy that your child will feel and connect with.


2. Find out what Triggers this behaviour


Enjoy some quiet time to talk with your child and discuss what they are feeling and what maybe the triggers for this behaviour.

Ask them some of the points in Tip 1 to discover more about your child

And their behaviour.

Are they feeling heard?

Do they feel like they have choices?

Just listen, without any judgement or criticism – allow them to express how they feel.

You will be amazed at what you discover.

Put yourself in their world and see things from their perspective.

It is important they understand you love them regardless of their behaviour.

That they know that their behaviour does not define who they are.


3. Expected Behaviour


Your child needs to have a clear idea of what behaviour is expected from them.

This is the time to discuss what is acceptable behaviour and what is not.

Setting boundaries and giving your child some structure will help them feel they have some control and choices available to them.

Too often we just assume our children know what is expected of them and what they should or shouldn’t be doing –

Using clear concise language stating what you would like them to do rather than focusing on what they shouldn’t be doing.

This will give them clarity and structure and understanding as to why these rules are important to the family.

Great for your kids to learn how to treat themselves and others with respect.


4. Punishing and giving your child time out is not the answer with this consistent misbehaviour.


You are reinforcing negative behaviour

You are judging them and making them feel small – reinforcing fear, guilt and shame.

Long term this has them believing they are not worthy and squashing their self-worth.


This type of punishment may work temporarily but it can cause other long term issues such as..

  • A child who resents the punishment and they become even more rebellious


  • Child who becomes withdrawn and starts to do things to please others – which is a sure sign of low self-esteem.


It is so important that we give your children the opportunities to express themselves and what they are feeling, and for them to feel heard, acknowledged and loved.

When you are able to step into our child’s world and be present with them you will receive so many incredible insights about them.

And, notice a huge difference in their behaviour.

When you can come from a place of love for your children rather than reactionary discipline as the answer you will notice positive long term behaviour changes in your child.

So I hope that you can now take away these valuable tips to start to change the way you respond to your child’s misbehaviour.


Please leave me a comment, I would love to hear how this video and article have helped you.


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