How do I react to my child’s bad behavior?

Daily life with our children is not always easy, there are sometimes (often?) Conflicts. The child does not obey, we shout, we put him in the corner, we punish him. But all this does not really help the child to improve … So how do you react to bad behavior to rate your child more positively?

We saw in a previous article how to try not to shout, or at worst to shout “positively”. But, despite everything, when you’re tired, or have less patience, it’s not easy to stay positive: there are so many opportunities to be turned against your child!

What if by changing our outlook on things, everything changes?

To illustrate, here are two episodes from the last few days.

My daughter hit me

After lunch, my husband and I, slumped on the sofa, get ready to close our eyes and take a nap. Our three-and-a-half-year-old daughter comes to see me to accompany her to the swing. I tell him that I am sleeping and that, as soon as I have finished my little nap, I will accompany him. Same response from her dad. She insists again and again. Half asleep, I automatically continue to answer her in the negative, until she ends up sending me little pats: “You’re not nice, Mom!” “.

The kind of behavior that can get us out of our hinges, and can end in “file your room in 1 … 2 … 3”, you will agree. A child who insists when he has been told “no”, and who starts typing: it goes beyond the limits! But in these moments, let us remember one thing: bad behavior, in adults as in children, is usually the expression of negative emotions.

People are not born of a bad nature, but can become so because of their environment …

How often do you act out of sheer meanness, simply by wanting to hurt or annoy those around you? It’s rare, isn’t it? In general, when we behave badly towards others, it is because we cannot do otherwise. And even if we are aware that we must change our behavior, we do not know how to do it. For our children, it’s the same.

No, the old neighbor of the 3rd who annoys the whole building is not mean by nature. She is simply alone, bored to death all day long, and therefore finds herself in the business of spying on her neighbors. Continuing to consider her as an old witch, and to reproach her for her behavior, will not improve anything …

While by changing our outlook on her, by communicating more, we will be able to help her feel better, and to be more sociable, and more pleasant with the neighborhood.

Ditto for the biker who, at a red light, insults us copiously and almost breaks our face: it is very likely that this aggressiveness was triggered by the fear of being run over for example. And instead of telling you “I was scared,” he starts screaming.

On another note, if you are interested in “positive education”, I have gathered my thoughts, thoughts and tips to make everyday life (a little) cooler … Leave us your address and receive (free of charge) your “Positive education pack” file! More cooperation while shouting less, that feels good 😉.

Behind ‘bad’ behavior, there is often a reason

From this, we no longer see our child as an “egoist” who does not let his mother sleep. But, rather, for the present case, like a little girl who played wisely on her own during the adult lunch and who now has need attention. She is bored, and would like to enjoy her parents a little. There is nothing wrong with all of this. She has the right to want me to come and play with her right away, just as much as I have the right to want to give myself a nap. It is the chosen form of expressions (the tapes) which is not adequate.

As soon as I change my outlook on the situation, I’m not going to act out of exasperation and punish her for her bad behavior, but rather I will try to find solutions, and help her stop typing. (On this subject rather the article “How to reason a child in full” caprice “?”)

In short, it is by taking a DIFFERENT LOOK at what has just happened that we will find THE STRENGTH to act differently with our child.

Second example, my daughter systematically snatches toys from her brother’s hand

Here is another example. I come home from work and, sitting on the sofa, I play with my younger brother by making him “ride a horse” on my knees (“at a walk, trot, gallop”). “Me too, mom, I want to ride a horse”, “If you want, I’ll have you do it after Leon”. Then, Leon still on my knees, I start playing with him with a big ring, but my daughter snatches him from his hands. I give my son another ring, my daughter grabs it again and starts biting the toy.

In this kind of situation, depending on our fatigue, and our interpretation, the scene can go unnoticed, or start an argument …

This time, I was embarking on the 2nd option. I scold my daughter: “You stop snatching the toys from Leon’s hands, it’s not nice!” In addition you damage them by biting them! »She bursts into big sobs…

It made me realize (even a little late) that the way she had just behaved was not motivated by the urge to annoy her brother, or the desire to provoke me by damaging the ring, but rather through the need for me to give her some attention, and by the sadness to see that I only took care of his brother. Doing so was his way of getting my attention. In a clumsy way, it must be admitted …

Understanding this allows me to react in a more appropriate way to the negative or violent behaviors of my children.

Our children are not “bad guys” to be trained, but humans to be understood.

The second step is then to avoid reacting by force (punishment, spanking, etc.), and to react more positively, see for example the articles “Childhood whim, the best way to manage them” or “” You stop playing with that “… How to be efficient and benevolent? And all the other blog posts!


Finding solutions to his problems, or at least allowing him to express them differently, will always be more effective than finding punishments for his bad behavior. Changing your outlook, taking a step back: this is the first step to act in a more positive way