Although parents want to feel like they know everything there is to know about their children, it is still a challenge to read their emotions. When your child acts out, throws a tantrum and misbehaves, there could be hundreds of reasons why they exhibit this behavior.
This list of the common reasons why your child may be acting out may give you some ideas.
To Gain Attention
Children often feel like they do not belong unless someone notices them. If they do not think they can get positive attention from their parents, teachers and other authority figures, some children may settle for negative attention. A neglected child may prefer their parents yell at them than ignore them, so they act out for attention.
To Have Power
To have power is another possibility among the common reasons why your child may be acting out. Children have very little control over their environments. When they act out, they may feel like they have agency when they otherwise might feel helpless. Tantrums are one way for them to seek power.
To Handle Stress
The world is a stressful place for adults and children. If your child is throwing a tantrum, there is a good possibility they are responding to stressors related to school or their friends. You should teach your child some coping strategies to help deal with their stress. They might not yet have the vocabulary to explain their feelings. But if they can identify the source of their frustration, they can learn how to deal with it in a constructive way.
To Get Revenge
Children sometimes feel unloved by a parent. To get revenge, children act out, seeking attention and power. They may think no one can love them unless they share their pain. Seeking revenge, children may damage a family member’s belongings or say hurtful things. Parents may be shocked by this behavior.
To Display Inadequacy
If a child feels they are unable to reach the goals put upon them by their parents, they may try to prove their inadequacy by lashing out. They might refuse to participate or engage in specific situations.