Yes behavior can be frustrating! But what we DO know is that behavior communicates a need. Fortunately there are a few ways to pick apart behavior so that you can appropriately respond.
1. Goals of misbehavior
3. Human Development
4. Neurological/Cognitive/Emotional Disorders or Disabilities
6. Behavior Tracking
Goals of misbehavior
You may have heard of Adlerian Psychology. Based on Alfred Adler’s theory, social psychologist Rudolf Dreikurs proposed that responding to one of four possible goals that drive behavior could change your child’s behavior. (Attention, Power/Control, Inadequacy, Revenge). The key to identifying the goal of the misbehavior is identifying how the behavior makes you feel and how you would normally respond to it. A printable PDF version can be found here. Study it.
When we take a look at physical, cognitive, social, and emotional development by ages or stages, we can better understand what behavior is typical. This does not excuse behavior, however, it gives us a sense of hope and understanding. One of the most helpful books regarding Child Development is by Dee Ray.
Check out other resources regarding child development on my Pinterest board.
Behavior can also be rooted in the way a person's brain receives, processes, and delivers information. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, emotional and behavioral disorders affect 10-15% of children globally. (These would include ADHD, Autism, Bipolar, Anxiety). Neurological disorders involve the brain, spinal column, or nerves and symptoms depend on where damage occurs. Areas that control movement, communication, vision, hearing or thinking can be affected.
This is really getting out of my scope of licensure and practice, however, medications or substances such as alcohol or drugs do alter the way the brain receives and sends messages to the rest of the body.
"By focusing on just one behavior you can learn exactly what is causing your child’s behaviors — what revs them up, what calms them down, what helps them focus and what makes them feel overwhelmed. Better yet, you can help your child notice these behaviors and begin regulating on their own." (The Jenny Evolution).