Kids Life Coach Academy
There are five, very common reasons why children misbehave. It is extremely useful for a Kids Life Coach to know these because if you can pinpoint the root cause of the misbehavior, you can be more successful at reducing it.
1) They want to test whether adults will enforce rules.
A child's main job is to figure out how their complex world works and in order to master the things they need at each developmental level they will test the adults who care for them which are usually their parents. They are literally trying to see where the boundaries are, or, if they exist at all. To coach a child means getting them used to boundaries and limits. This way, their children will adopt positive values and gain self-esteem.
2) They experience different sets of expectations
Children will misbehave if they are held to expectations that are beyond their developmental levels. Consistency is hugely important in making a child feel safe and secure and able to have a comfortable understanding of the world and how it works. If they are receiving mixed messages for instance between home and school they will feel uneasy inside and express this through more testing than normal and will feel an inner sense of stress. If you are a parent, then it is up to you to coach your child as to what your expectations are and make sure you model them. If you are coaching somebody else's child your job is to have a consistent, clear message, that marries with the home environment.
3) They want to assert themselves and their independence.
Children begin to show their desire for more independence at around age two. They start to want control over certain areas of their life so that they can feel capable and independent. It doesn't take long for children to identify the areas they can control. Kids Life Coaching is about giving children lots of opportunities to make small choices in their daily life so that they feel in control of their life in a more positive way.
4) They lack accurate information and prior experience.
When children do something such as go to cross a road for the first time, they do not know that they are supposed to look both ways, so we all know that we must explain to them to look left and look right, However, the same technique needs to be applied to discipline situations. Children will repeat a behavior over and over until they have accurate information as to what they should be doing instead and prior experience of the consequence if they continue the behavior.
As a Kids Life Coach, it is important to use clear, concise language stating what they need to be doing rather than what they shouldn't be doing. Coaching is about training yourself to say what you want them to do instead of what you don't.
So, you can say: "Walk, please instead of saying 'No running'. Kids hear the word no far too frequently you can always rephrase the sentence from a negative to a positive, which will correct the behavior without sounding critical.
5) They have been previously rewarded for their misbehavior with adult attention.
No parent would ever think of purposefully rewarding bad behavior, but it subtly happens quite often. Remember, negative attention is still attention. If the child whines, cries or throws a tantrum and mom or dad eventually gives in to make them become quiet, they have just been rewarded. As a Kids Life Coach, it is up to you to say what you expect without emotion and then follow through consistently if they continue the negative behavior. The two keys here are: no emotion and little talking.
So in closing I want you to remember again that all bad behaviour in a child is a sign of an unmet need. Children don't behave badly because they want to, it is an expression of their own inner confusion that may linked to one of these 5 areas.
I want you to remember that you were a child once and you would have misbehaved, tested the boundaries and thrown tantrums at times. All of that was part of your development and it has helped you to grow and to learn and to strengthen your inner resolve so that you can find your true purpose.
Children do need to go through their own stuff - they will behave badly, they will test boundaries. This is the rite of passage that builds their resilience and their leadership capabilities. It just takes us as Kids Life coaches to encourage them through their transitions.
Why not do one of our courses to upskill yourself so that you can learn more about getting children to become the leaders of their own lives. Take a look at what we do by clicking here.