About behavioural phases: 7 annoying things that kids do that are actually good for them
Kids go through multiple behavioural phases when they are young. Find out what these are and what the experts say about it right here.
Being a parent also means being a expert in handling the multiple behavioural phases our kids go through. We are super-patient with their demands, we negotiate with them through tantrums and answer their ton of questions.
But there are times when our young child’s nagging, demanding and tantrum-throwing do get to us.
For instance: When we are rushing against the clock to do errands or get them to school on time, they decide to drag their feet or bombard us with a avalanche of questions.
Haven’t we all been there? I certainly have.
It goes without saying then that handling kids can definitely be a demanding and trying task.
They go through a range of behavioural phases in their early childhood and parents often find themselves questioning their decisions.
Well, here’s a consolation — it is not only your child who goes through these behavioural phases.
All kids go through very similar phases, and what’s even more comforting is that experts say that ‘these annoying’ things that kids do that are actually good for them!
Jude Bijou, a family therapist, also believes that this is true. She feels that our role as parents can be easier if we look differently at challenging behaviour displayed by kids.
Bijou claims that kids are doing exactly what they are supposed to do and these supposedly annoying behavioural phases can be constructive to them, and help them learn how to manage their emotions better.
As adults, we are in control of our emotions. We can successfully mask our hurt feelings, swallow our anger and stifle our laughter.
But kids are not able to do that. They live in the moment, they show how they feel and wear their little hearts on their sleeves, so to speak.
Bijou says this is healthy and that parents should encourage this behaviour — and better deal with it by being patient.
Let’s look at some annoying things that kids do but are actually good for them.
7 Behavioural Phases:
1. Crying at the drop of a hat
If we feel hurt or angry, doesn’t a good cry always make us feel better (yes, I’m talking about us adults!)?
Research proves that this is true and that crying can reduce stress hormones in our bodies almost instantly.
This goes for kids too.
If they cry over everything, let them cry it out. Haven’t you noticed that after a good cry your kid reverts back to whatever she was doing as if nothing had happened?
2. Throwing a tantrum
You’ll probably think, “How on earth can a tantrum be good thing?”
Well, hear us out. A tantrum is a way for kids to demonstrate that they are either angry, annoyed or hurt.
Designate a room in your house for letting off steam. Don’t worry — he won’t grow up to be a teenager who pounds his fists and rolls on the ground when he is angry.
As children grow, they learn other ways of expressing their feelings.
Always talk to your child about what upset him. This will get him into the habit of talking about his feelings.
3. Pleading and whining
Ugh, haven’t we all heard the “but pweeeeeees, mummy” whines many times before? Kids have the innate ability of pleading for their parents to surrender to their requests.
So how can this behaviour be constructive?
Well, by doing so, kids are learning about boundaries and negotiation. They are learning how to speak up and be heard.
Show them that their pleas are heard. Of course, being gentle in how you respond doesn’t mean you can’t be firm with setting limits.
4. Acting scared
There’s no need to call kids who get scared easily a ‘scaredy cat.’ It is healthy to express fear and this can be blessing if a dangerous situation arises as well.
Acknowledge your child’s fear and tell him or her it’s OK to be scared.
My little girl was scared of thunder when she was about 4 and I found that explaining what thunder is in an easy-to-understand scientific way really helped her get over her fear.
Now, whenever she hears thunder, she doesn’t shudder anymore.
I thought mine was the only child who had absolutely no concept of time. But the more I spoke to other parents I realised that this is quite common.
I find myself rushing her to eat, rushing her to take a shower and rushing her to get dressed. When kids move at a glacial pace, it probably means they are resistant to transitions.
If your child is a snail-pace mover, give her extra time.
Wake her up earlier, let her finish her meal in the car and have more time to do things in general. This doesn’t mean she’ll end up being late for appointments as an adult.
You are just helping her stick to the time set but work within her personal limits.
6. Being resistant
How many times has your little girl frowned at you and said she didn’t want to do something? Too many times to count?
It is actually OK for her to do this.
Again, she is testing boundaries, asserting herself and making her voice count. How you respond is key.
Although her little frowning face drives you crazy, try not to bark back telling her to do it because you said so. Explain patiently why she needs to do that and how it will help her.
7. Questions, questions!
This is my personal addition to the list and the least surprising of the lot that I recall.
Most parents know the feeling of being drowned by a million “but why?” questions from their kids.
It could start off as being cute and end up being completely frazzling.
Yes, you were right not to tell her to be quiet. But if your child — like mine — asks a gazillion questions per second, remind yourself that she has a thirst for knowledge and this is how she learns about the world.
So, patience is the key here too!
Parents, which of these annoying things do your kids do? Have you got any tried and tested ways of dealing with these behavioural phases? Please do share them with all of us by leaving a comment below.