Motivations of Child Misbehavior

Topics: Psychology, The Child, Parent Pages: 4 (1078 words) Published: September 10, 2006
Children misbehave everyday at home, school, day care, church, and other places for a reason. "If the behavior is accidental or if the child did not know it was unacceptable, then it is not really misbehavior. Bad behavior involves deliberate disobedience to a reasonable limit" (Smith 1). The truth is that every type of conduct has an intention. One of the most difficult – but most imperative – decisions a parent can make when trying to assist a child act in an improved way is to find out the purpose of the misconduct. Misbehavior cannot be effectively treated until the parent knows the reasons for it. The parent comprehends the child and what triggers him or her to have behavior tribulations better than anyone else ("Discipline Help: You Can Handle Them All" 1). Three main causes or "mistaken goals" of naughtiness are attention, power, and self-confidence. Rudolf Dreikurs, a trained physician and psychiatrist, believes "the true reason for children to misbehave is because they just ‘want to belong'" ("Causes of Misbehavior" 1).

Some children feel misbehaving is their greatest method to get attention. Every child has a need to be noticed. At times the only means children can get their occupied parents' interest is to refuse to comply. Once the mother or father gives them attention for being unruly, then that conduct will intensify. "Children who feel overlooked will misbehave to get any kind of parent attention, even if it means being yelled at, ridiculed, or even spanked. Punishment is a reward for attention starved children" (Smith 1). "Children who are seeking attention are the ones who constantly speak out without permission in school, or make strange noises at the dinner table that force everyone to stop their conversation and pay attention. Some adolescents will even tell about all the bad things they have done that day" ("Discipline Help: You Can Handle Them All" 3).

The want for power is a source for misbehavior as well. Children...

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Clark, Janet A. "GH6119 Positive Discipline and Child Guidance, MU Extension."
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"What Causes A Child To Misbehave?" [No Date]. July 18, 2006.
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