There are only 4 reasons why ANY human being participates in a behavior:
Last week, I touched on the four reasons of behavior, here they are broken down:
Here are the four fictions of behavior
4) Self -Stimulatory
Any and all behaviors can be broken down into one of these categories.
We seem to be much more aware of this fact when our children are infants. We actually spend a lot of time trying to decipher their behavior and are very attuned to their needs and desires based on that behavior. For example you knew that your child was hungry by the tone of their cry and tug of your shirt (access to tangible – milk/food). If they were still crying even after having a full belly you knew that they probably needed their diaper changed (crying = escape – dirty diaper). When they sucked on their pacifier it was self- stimulatory (my son used to rub his ear – too cute). And when they became toddlers and said “Mom watch!” ( a hundred times :)while they jumped into a pile of leaves they were looking for attention.
Somewhere after infancy you may have lost sight of these reasons.
The good news is that any and all of their behaviors are based on this 4 reason model. If you memorize this you will find that you are much more patient with your child(ren) and even your husband, coworkers, family and friends.
Just as an adult wakes up in the morning and goes to work everyday (access to tangible – money), participates in a hobby (self stim) or an addiction (escape), children also have their reasons. They are never “acting out” just to torture you (although it can certainly feel like it); they are behaving that way for a reason.
The really good news is that once you define the reason you are better equipped at understanding the behavior. You can then handle the need appropriately. Your reactions will change. Your understanding will play a role now in how you handle that behavior and your love and respect for each other will blossom.
If this helpful and you want to know more about why your child is acting up PM me and we can talk about it. We can also discuss consequences(not negative things, a consequence in behavior terms is just a reaction to a behavior) for the behavior.