Last Updated on April 24, 2022 by Anne-Sophie Reinhardt
There are so many times parents wonder why their kids act out. Tantrums and whining are all part of the package.
All children have their moments. And parents are left wondering what to do to get their kids to stop acting out and behave. Children often act out at a fundamental level when they are unhappy, want attention, or don’t want something. While negative behavior can result in some attention, it is not always the attention that the child or adult desires. Healthy development requires children to communicate their wants and needs in a positive manner.
What Is Acting Out?
While most people are familiar with the concept of “acting out”, it is important to define what acting out behavior is before discussing possible causes. Acting out is a problem behavior that is more severe than mere misbehavior. It can be physically aggressive, destructive of property, verbally aggressive or other aggressive. The American Psychological Association defines acting out as “extreme behavioral expression of emotions that relieve tension or communicate these emotions in disguised or indirect ways”.
Basically, acting out can be disruptive in any age and any setting. It often requires behavior intervention to manage. This behavior may also be described by parents using the following words:
- Aggression: Using hostile or violent words or actions to target another person
- Defiance: Openly resisting authority figures or refusing to obey them
- Disruptive Behavior: Uncooperative or hostile behaviors that disrupt others
- Meltdowns: An intense response to an overwhelming situation
- Oppositional Behavior: Resist the rules or are argumentative, or refuse to cooperate.
- Temper Tantrum: An emotional outburst, often involving crying or screaming
Why Do Kids Act Out? Why Do They Go Through Challenging Behaviors?
Children under 12 years old need personal support in school and at home to help them overcome challenging behavior. They often cause harm to others and have a negative impact on the lives of the families and children.
Possible Causes Of Challenging Behavior:
- Inadequacy of social skills
- Don’t misunderstand the rules
- Understanding social expectations is a mistake
- Inability to communicate one’s needs and wants in a proper way
- Difficulty understanding directions
How to Respond to Acting Out
Experts believe that you need to look at the root cause before implementing a punishment or considering treatment. Some experts believe that you will never understand every child’s behavior. However, children aren’t always rational.
While you might want to think about the root causes of your behavior, you may not know. Regardless of the reason for the behavior, the consequences you offer may prove effective. These are some things you can do to help your child behave appropriately.
- Set Clear Expectations: Let your teens and children know what you expect from them, and what the consequences will look like if they behave badly. Then, follow through.
- Give Consequences: Consequences should be immediate, consistent, and age-appropriate
- Keep Calm: Even if it takes a few deep breaths, it is important to stay calm and in control of your children’s behavior.
- Get Help: Talk to your pediatrician if your child’s behavior continues to be unsatisfactory or worsens.
Final Thought of Why Does Kids Act Out!
Children who can express themselves positively and have better relationships with their parents and siblings will be happier. It is important to remember that every child is different and requires a unique approach when promoting positive behavior. Parents and teachers can predict and reduce the likelihood of challenging behaviors while encouraging positive responses.
Understanding the root cause of problem behavior is key to helping children change it. Functional Behavior Analysis is a strategy that experts use to help them understand their motivations. FBA can be used to treat autism spectrum children and help students whose behavior is affecting their ability to learn. Parents can also use FBA to help their children at home with some preparation.