Ever had someone say ‘oh they never act like that with me’ or ‘they start playing up as soon as you arrive’? Does your toddler or child only seem to misbehave around you? It is especially in those moments that you’ve collected them from nursery, school or grandparents? Are you the only person they hit or bite or talk back to?
Have you seen the fake research article about how children behave 800% worse when their parent is in the room? Many parents will tell you that it sounds pretty believable to them. So why do your children ‘misbehave’ when you are around? It’s so common to see children coming out of school & snapping at their parents; or a toddler coming out of nursery to greet their Mum with a tantrum; or a teenager storming through the door & grumbling at Dad!
But your child is not misbehaving; it’s because they’ve had a hard day and held in their difficult emotions all day. When they’re with you they relax and their emotion come bursting out. They simply don’t yet have the brain development to efficiently communicate these.
It’s so common to see children coming out of school & snapping at their parents; a toddler coming out of nursery to great their Mum with a tantrum; a teenager storming through the door & grumbling at Dad! But it’s not because your child is impolite, and they aren’t misbehaving, either. it’s because they’ve had a hard day & simply don’t yet have the brain development to efficiently communicate that.
Have you ever shouted at your partner as soon as they walk through the door? Ever cried as soon as your mum or Dad walk in, even as an adult? Ever felt that feeling of relief as you walk into your home, your safe place, after a draining or simply tiring day? Well, to your child you are their home; you are their safe place. They don’t worry that you’ll stop loving them or caring for them if they have a tantrum. Your child knows that around you they are safe, not to misbehave, but to express their emotions. They know, in their hearts, that you will always love them, and support them, unconditionally!
So, next time you are greeted by ‘bad behaviour’ from your child you’ll get it; you’ll see it not as them misbehaving, but as your child’s inability to cope, to self regulate, any more. It’s really hard, but respond to them with love & empathy; because those things are exactly what they need from their safe space, especially when they are having a hard time!
Danielle Heap: a CalmFamily Director
Danielle is mum to two gorgeous children living on the west coast of Cumbria. She’s a director and consultant at CalmFamily. Her favourite thing to do is going out into nature & exploring with her children, their favourite places are the beach & the gorgeous lakes that are right on their doorstep!
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