There’s No Such Thing As “Bad Behavior”
This might sound controversial to a parent who struggles day in and day out due to the actions of their child but hear us out. When behavior is labeled as “good” or “bad,” it actually does more to feed into misunderstanding and despair than it does to improve the situation. Take, for example, a child who throws a temper tantrum at the grocery store. This seems like a clear-cut example of “bad behavior.” You might find it embarrassing, disrespectful, etc. But when you think about it, there’s nothing inherently wrong with the act of screaming. There are circumstances in which screaming to show that something is wrong might even be a good thing. If there’s an emergency, such as a fire in a building, screaming and causing a big scene to warn everyone to get out is most certainly the right thing to do. Yet it’s essentially the same action that is frowned upon here, simply due to context and expectations.
When a child throws a tantrum, he or she is also likely trying to express concern or frustration over something they consider to be wrong. The problem is that most young children lack the maturity to correctly understand both the nature of certain perceived problems and the appropriate ways to respond to them.
It is much more effective for a parent to understand the core of a behavioral issue rather than to label an action as “bad.”
With this fundamentally different starting point from which to assess the situation, you’ll be able to understand that your child is not actually acting “bad” and you will be better equipped to find the root issue causing the unexpected behavior.