As a working mama, it can be hard coming home to utter chaos. When your kids are having a meltdown and you have no idea what happened and/or why they are freaking out. Just remember there is a reason for everything. There can be are 5 Reasons Your Kid Is Acting Out. You might think the reason is just plain stupid, but you have to remember it’s not stupid to them. I have come home many times to screaming over a video game which I think is nonsense, but he has spent almost an hour trying to beat a level. He is a kid so his priorities are different than mine.
However, acting out is more than just meltdowns. Sometimes it is just flat-out disrespect. I don’t know about you, but disrespect will not be tolerated in my house. I am learning as he gets older, he for sure has my attitude and temper. Now that coming from a 7-year-old can be infuriating. I have to remind myself to take a deep breath and get to the bottom of why he is acting out.
There is a difference between a child acting out and a teen acting out. However, I am going to keep this just for kids so for ages 4-12 for now. I will not just tell you the reasons they are acting out. I am going to tell you what you can do about it.
5 Reasons Your Kid Is Acting Out
They are asserting their independence
A lot of kids are looking to push to test their limits. It’s annoying but true how are they going to learn the boundaries if they don’t push. They want to feel independent there is no shame in that. In the same breath, it should never lead to them disregarding the rules and being disrespectful. Everyone wants to do what they want to do and how they want to do it. Why should your kid be any different? It is easy to say well that’s not how life works, but admit that is how you wish life worked. We all wish we can do whatever we want to do.
You should direct their want of independence in a positive way. They want to tie their own shoes and dress themselves let them. I mean if they want to go out wearing a tutu over their jeans so be it. They see you as independent and they want to do the same. I have heard my son say “I want to be an adult so I can do whatever I want” this always makes me chuckle. If he only knew.
They are Bored
Have you ever been stuck in a house with a bored child? If you haven’t here is a spoiler alert. It’s a recipe for disaster because boredom can lead to your kid acting out. Their little minds need to be constantly stimulated and engaged throughout the day. Sitting in front of a TV or iPad can only last so long. Besides, you don’t want them sitting around all day. In my house, we keep him busy. If it’s raining and parks are not an option what’s stopping you from putting on some rainboots and going for a walk. If the weather is really bad, we play and bake. The main goal is to keep them engaged their minds are constantly growing and their curiosity is endless. Embrace it and you can turn a rainy day into a day filled with fun while creating memories.
We can all admit making friends and keeping them can be difficult. Just imagine what it might feel like for your child. Every kid has the pressure of making friends and is constantly worried about what their friends think of them. What do people think of them in general? My son will do something that annoys me and then has the audacity to say “It’s because I’m annoying”. I have never ever told my son that he is annoying so it had to come from somewhere. After a few tears and telling me no one likes him. I asked some innocent questions when he calmed down and got to the root of the problem.
Some little boy at school didn’t want to play with him and said he was annoying. Which turned into everyone thinking he is annoying and no one wants to play with him. After talking a little more, I also found out that he played with a bunch of other kids at recess and it was just that one kid that didn’t want to play with him. So I assured him that not only do I love him that I liked him and liked playing with him. I pointed out that maybe that boy was just having a bad day. The next day who was he playing with… Yup that same boy that was mean to him the day before.
Little kids say the most random things, but there is always a reason for it. This time someone hurt his feelings and he assumed all because one kid felt that way at that moment. That is how everyone feels all the time. That is where you come in mamas… Listen to them because lord knows they got plenty to say. They are afraid of not being socially accepted and it is our job to show them that they are.
With everything going on in the world and living through the pandemic these kids have anxiety. I mean they might have had anxiety before, but the pandemic definitely didn’t help. Anxiety can come in all different shapes and sizes. Whether they are anxious about school, socializing, or a million other things. I am going to admit that my son is anxious. He worried about getting good grades in school, being able to see his friends, staying healthy, wearing a mask. The list is endless. As adults, we forget what it was like to be a kid and we never had to go through this.
This is how you handle it. First Listen to them they might not come right out and say it so listen carefully. Reassure them that they don’t always have to get a perfect score on a test. Take them on play dates at parks so they can see their friends. When it comes to COVID-19 which my son is petrified to get teach them how to best protect themselves. You can soothe their fears and worries in just a few simple words. This is what I whisper to my son when his anxiety kicks in “You are loved, you are perfect just the way you are, and mama is right here” Just them know you are there to love and hold them can be enough.
When his anxiety turns into anger and frustration, I take one out of grandma’s book and tell him to smell the flowers and blow the bubbles. Taking a few deep breaths can ease their anxiety so you can address their worries.
They want your attention. It doesn’t matter if it is good or bad attention is attention. When your kid acts out or throws tantrums it’s a cry for attention. Kids crave our attention so when we are busy looking at our phone or trying to answer work emails when we get home after a long day of work. When you’re a mama that is not an option and if you think it is well good luck with that. The first thing I do when I get home is put my bag down and give my little guy a big hug. We share stories about our days depending on his mood. Now as he gets older that is probably going to change, but I am creating a routine now and hoping it sticks for the future. So pay attention to them.
Spend some quality time with them. I promise you your phone will still be there after they go to sleep. Now I am not perfect if he is watching youtube and isn’t looking for my attention, I go on my phone but when he asks me to play or wants to talk to me the phone goes down. I let him know he is my priority not my job, the news, or any other notification because there is nothing more important than spending time with him.
I only listed 5 reasons your kid is acting out, but there can be so many reasons. It’s our responsibility to love and support our kids. So do yourself a favor always get to the underlying reason for what you say is “bad behavior”. When you do a little digging and some detective work you will find out the real reason they are acting out.
If you are looking at how to handle a full-blown meltdown you should check out How To Handle The Meltdown
I also found this great article if your kids’ anxiety is revolving around school. Go Check Out Back-to-School Anxiety During COVID. This article helped me a lot when it came to helping my little guy with his anxiety.