Six Bad Behaviors and How to Handle Them

When your child acts up, find out the root of the issue, and realize that it might just be your child’s way to communicate.

Children-by all mean-are lovable, adorable, and yes, cute! They can melt your heart like butter in the hot sun. With a dash of their eyes, they will get you to do what they want, and with the pout of their lips, you will forget that you were angry.

However, this cuteness can only go so far, especially when bad behaviors consistently present themselves. I believe love and discipline go hand in hand.


According to psychologist Charlotte J. Patterson, when children throw a tantrum, they are just showing their independence, and express their opinions. She is the author of an educational textbook “Child Development“, and also is a mother of three.

She says, “Parents need to be proactive to avoid tantrums.” This means, you must know when your children are tired or hungry, and be prepared to keep them occupied with small toy or snack. If all effort fails, calmly remove the children from the scene.

When your children know that you will not tolerate any tantrums, they will learn that they won’t get what they want.


All kids whine! Mary-Elaine Jacobsen, a psychologist, suggests ignoring children’s behavior when it comes as a whine instead of a request. She is the author of “The Brat Stops Here!” and believes that good parenting and disciplining is in planning ahead.

Prepare something for your children to do, such as games, puzzles, or postcards before you get on the phone for a chat. Also, remain calm, and be consistence with your rules.


If you have children who like rough and tumble play, sometimes they hit each other. First, understanding what is the child’s intention, and the different degrees of hitting, said Dr. Lori J. Warner, a licensed psychologist at Beaumont Hospital, and director of the Hands-On Parent Education Center (HOPE).


According to Dr. Charlotte J. Patterson “Children hear words and wonder what they mean.” Therefore, when they come to you and using a swear word, they want to see how you react to it. This is your opportunity to teach the children why they should not use the word. You do not have to explain in great detail, but just let them know the word means something bad.

For older children, Dr. Patterson said they need to learn that the kind of language, words, or even tones may not be appropriate for parents, teachers, or coaches. As with hitting, and lying, parents need to lead by example.


Little children play pretend all the time, and they have different ideas about what the truth is, said Dr. Lori J. Warner. However, when telling tall tales, such as the dog flies in the sky, even most preschoolers know that is not true.

Older children may try lying to see if they can get away with something, and test parents for reinforcement on telling the truth. Teach them to be honest since honesty results in respect and trust from people around them.


The concept of stealing is different between younger children and older kids. Younger children may not realize that they are stealing when they walk off with something that is not theirs, but if parents simply say that it is not theirs doll or truck, they will learn very fast.

Older children when caught stealing require a punishment from a parent, says Charlotte J. Patterson. Sit down to discuss consequences and take appropriate action if the problem exists.

Children change as they grow, and sometimes they can’t express what bother them; therefore it might trigger behavior problems. As parents, you need to find out why your child acts up, find out the root of the issue, and realize that it might just be your child’s way to communicate.

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Published in: Family


RSSComments: 31  |  Post a Comment
  1. BC Doan:
    I couldn’t agree with you more. This is an excellent article to write. there are many young mother’s out there who could use this just to get through their day! Help them cope because they don’t have someone to turn to for help. Lets face it-we have a lot of young mothers(Teen Mothers)more than ever! god bless you.

  2. a fine article that will be very useful to parents esp the young parents,thanks

  3. I’m not exactly a “young” parent, but I do have my hands full with two children (ages 4 and 8), that do alot of the things you described. Thank you so much for posting this, I can’t wait to buy some of the books you refrenced to. I’m almost at the end of my rope and this acrticle is very helpful.

  4. Wonderful article. I agree that behavior changes are a good sign something is wrong. Our boys are rather well mannered, easy going kids so when there’s an increase in hitting, yelling or attitude it’s a pretty good indication something is up. It’s then time to sit down and have a chat.

  5. An excellent article giving much practical advice. I always think a firm but fair manner towards children usually does the trick and a willingness to listen and discuss problems.

    Thank you

  6. Well alot of this I already learned in life, but its good to see people have the same idea’s.
    Great article.

  7. A practical and excellent advice while dealing with your child. Thanks, and take care, sister!

  8. Great article and advice. I find diversion is a good way to distract my child from tandrums.

  9. Yeah, even a 15 year old can lay on a mighty guilt trip. Her tantrums are even harder to deal with when she is stronger than me. LOL!

  10. Well described and documented for a great easy read.

  11. Very well written, BC. There are a lot of great tips here that can give much needed help to parents who feel like they have tried it all. Many times they overlook the obvious.

  12. Great job! I have a friend who is going through these things with her kids. Thanks for the tips.

  13. Excellent article! Very goog job.

  14. Good article. It will definitely help parents like us to know what to do with these bad behaviors of our children.

    Great Job!

  15. What a wonderfully, important – valuable – article. I’m certain you will help countless people!



    -Liane Schmidt.

  16. Excellent and helpful article.

  17. Yes, I agree with your points above. This is an important and helpful article. Educate children since the very beginning is very important.

  18. Great article. Moms should love this!

    Too useful.

  19. As an old hand at child rearing, I can tell you it takes a firm hand. You have to say no and stick to your guns. Kids know how to test you. They are smarter than you think.

  20. Definitely a very helpful article with lots of good advise. Practical links as well.

  21. Wonderful article. Thanks for the tips!

  22. Great advice.

  23. Great insightful advices! Thanks!

  24. I agree with Ruby…kids need a firm and consistant hand. It’s always harder to enforce rules than to think them up but the end result is so worth it!
    Kids are so smart, and quickly learn what ‘buttons’ to push in order to accomplish their goals. Ha ha.
    Love them, teach them by example, and do a lot of praying because none of us are great or even good examples ALL the time!
    And let your kids know that you’re just human, too. They’ll feel more comfortable in coming to you with their problems.
    Great article with so much info!

  25. Awesome info BC!

  26. Great info BC. Just reading this made me glad that my kids are all too old for this kind of stuff. Kids are smart, but they can only get away with what you let them do.

  27. You correct in all that’s been said.I find that some children do harbor insecure issues at very young ages.The peer pressure today is just unreal.The least one can do is to talk to the child in re-assuring ways that may cause them to open up. Thanks for such a needed article.

  28. Pardon my typo. You’re correct is what I should have stated.

  29. Excellent article with solid points. I agree that love and discipline go hand in hand. I also agree with the point you made about swearing. So often, young children have no idea what a word means, they look more for a reaction from their parents.

  30. thanks for your article. I just caught my youngest daughter. That i have’nt seen it with her other sisters. I was bothered at first…but now i read your really opens a door for me to reach out for herregarding this matter

  31. i need more !

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