Tip Tuesday! Identifying why your child misbehaves:WHY DOES MY CHILD DO THAT?!?! (Post 1/4)

Posted on July 7th, 2015

So many parents come to us desperate to find answers for why their child is misbehaving. While the answer is not always straightforward, we can help parents get a general idea of why their child is misbehaving simply by looking at what happens right before the undesirable behavior(s) and what happens right after they occur. Our Tip Tuesdays for July will be focused on helping you identify some factors that could be influencing your child's behaviors.


This week we will be looking at why people do the things they do. These reasons apply to nearly every person's behavior… it even applies to animals! It also is not specific to problem behavior but desirable behaviors as well. Here are the main functions of behavior:


  • To get something: This could be anything! A child can ask for a cookie by saying "coo-ee" and get a cookie, or sometimes a child can scream and get a cookie. You can get attention by asking for it, waving at a person, tugging on their sleeve, interrupting them, stomping their feet, hurting themselves, crying, etc. There are many behaviors that can lead to getting access to an item, person, or activity.
  • To get out of something: Some things kids typically try to get out of are chores, homework, things they find hard, or getting in trouble.
  • Because it feels good: Sometimes we do things simply because they feel good: singing in the shower, pressing on the bridge of your nose, stretching, chewing, on items, touching wet materials, etc.

Next week we will explain how to identify factors that influence behaviors before they occur.



ATTENTION: If any behaviors occur and are causing physical damage or may cause physical damage over long periods of time, please seek medical help immediately.



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