Bad behaviour isn’t necessarily what children do but what adults don’t want them to do.Angry mother scolding a disobedient child

For instance, children playing loudly upstairs may not be naughty but because adults expect them to be quiet, the children are reprimanded.

Sometimes this can lead to confrontations and the whole scene escalates into an out of control situation. Children and adults becoming more and more frustrated.

Like so many things behaviour is subjective.  What one person thinks is bad behaviour, another one wouldn’t bat an eyelid.


Do you recognise either of these situations or variations of them?

At Home

Daddy is playing on the xbox and Mummy is busy facebooking.  The two children are playing in the same room and the noise is gradually increasing as the game becomes more raucous.  
“Will you stop making that noise?” says Dad.
“Your noise is driving me around the bend” adds Mum.
The children sit down quietly for a short time before boredom sets in and the games starts up again.
“If you don’t sit down and shut up you’ll be in bed early for the rest of the week” threatens Dad.
“Can’t you behave like normal children” says Mum
“We are normal children”
“Oh no you’re not.  Normal children are good!”
An argument ensues.
Children end up upset and sent to bed.  Mum messages her facebook buddies that her children are unruly.  Dad finishes of killing zombies.

Were the children behaving badly or were they being children?
Were the adults behaving fairly?Toddler using fingers to count

Children adore the attention they get from their parents.  It doesn’t matter if that attention is good or bad, it’s all attention.

Spending 10 minutes of quality time playing with the children could have stopped this scenario from escalating.  

The game consoles, tablets and phones have a lot to answer to when it comes to children having undivided attention.

Facebook, Twitter, and every other social media platform will still be there if you take ten minutes break.

Pausing the game won’t cause a universal tragedy.  And even if you do lose a life – it’s only a game.

This sort of scenario isn’t the fault of the children and it is hard for them to understand what they have done to cause a ‘telling off’.  

This is an example of adults behaving badly and the children are the victims.

A Car Journey.

“Can we play a game”
“Don’t be silly, I’m driving”
“Oh you know, that game where we have to say the names of animals using the alphabet”
“I told you, not while I’m driving”
“I’m bored!”
“Then look out of the window.”
“I’ll be sick.”
“No you won’t”
“Please can we play a game”
“If you ask again, I’ll stop the car and you can get out and walk”
“But I don’t want to walk” (wailing)
“And you can stop that noise!”
“But I only want to play a game”
“That’s enough.  When we get home you can go straight to your room and you’ll be in bed early for the rest of the week”

There are situations that need lots of concentration and driving is one of them.  

Children don’t understand this.  

Using an excuse such as ‘I’m driving’ doesn’t make sense to a child.  Texting while driving

There are many things that you can do whilst driving.  It amazes me that some people can’t hold a conversation with their children but are completely capable of sending texts or facebook messages and drink a cup of coffee.

A simple explanation can make a huge difference to a child and can stop the arguments from starting.  

Again, children want, or more importantly, need attention.  A conversation isn’t much to ask, is it?

Do you remember ever getting told off as a child and not really understand what you had done wrong?

Were you confused and probably rather put out at this treatment?

Did you react negatively and things got out of hand?

Click here for the next in the series of behaviour posts.