How To Deal With Your Kids Acting Out


Not all cases of acting out and tantrums are the consequence of the attention seeking. At times, those can be symptoms of certain personality disorders. Being a parent, one is always concerned for the wellbeing of their child. Therefore, acting out of your kid should not be welcomed with anger and punishment. It should be understood and managed, so that you and your child can overcome it and deal with the underlying problem. Many factors cause kids to act out. One of those factors is age of your child.

Toddler Acting Out

Your toddler already knows the consequences of their actions. This means that they are already self-conscious, so their acting out can be planned to cause some reaction from you. Being aggressive toward siblings, toys or even you is usually a cry for attention or a little revenge because something isn’t the way they would want it to be. Your reaction should acknowledge that they did wrong, but you should now dwell on it or allow it to change your decisions. A simple “Do not do that” or “Stop doing that” without raising your voice should be the only reaction your child should get by acting out. A two-minute time out is the next level that should send a clear message that that sort of behavior will not be tolerated.

Younger Schoolchildren Acting Out

For the first time in their lives, your kids are not the only stars of the show. This is their first experience in a group and that can cause some troubles. There may be fights, aggressive behavior and unwillingness to share. The first step is to make sure your child knows that you will not tolerate or reward that behavior. Cut down on their TV time or something similar, but keep the punishment short term. After the situation settles, have a conversation to determine the causes. Make sure that your child understands why such behavior is wrong and make sure that they deal with the consequences. If they have been into fights or refused to share in school, order personalised lollies for their school friends so that your child can apologize. Don’t present the apology as a punishment, but as a way to re-connect with friends and start over.

Teenager Acting Out

Obviously, a lot of parents will think that it is normal for a teenager to act out. They will be right. However, there has to be a turning point after which the teenage acting out becomes a serious issue. If it hurts others, repeats itself too often, influences your kid’s success at school and among friends, or even becomes borderline criminal, you need to do something about it and seek the help of a professional. However, if it is within everyday teenager behavior, you can handle it. You should not overreact or ‘attack’. Make sure you are calm and that you criticize the behavior and not the kid. Set ground rules and stick to them. However, do not reinforce them in a way that they seem like this hard retribution. Simply present them as a logical consequence to that sort of behavior. Usually, teenagers simply want to talk about something that they are too shy to say.

The acting out does not stop with the teenager age. In adolescent years, young persons also tend to act out. In that case, it is usually a deep and serious problem and it is a good idea for you to seek advice of a professional before doing anything about it. They will help you and your child to work it out in the best possible way.

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