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Parenting Struggles: Dealing With “Destructive” Behavior

It is part of human nature for children to misbehave from time to time. This attitude is a form of exploration into the unknown, to learn about oneself and one’s surroundings. How is that? From these actions come consequences, and these consequences are another way of learning.

But there will be a distinction between normal and abnormal behavior. It’s how quickly you can pick up the signs and solve the problem. Next, we will talk about:

  • types of child behavior
  • parenting styles and how it affects a child,
  • influence between nature and/or nurture, and
  • chance to eliminate misbehavior.

What you need to know about child behavior

Why is my son behaving “like this”? Is it just a phase or serious signs of abnormality? When will you know if it’s too much? These are some questions that parents ask during the visit to the doctor.

First, you need to know the difference between normal and abnormal behavior. Children, especially young children, are at a stage of knowing what they like and what they don’t like. This is where they show independence and the ability to express themselves through actions.

Coincidentally, young children do not know how to control their emotions. They are still learning to be empathetic and patient. Now, not all toddlers are the same, some can control their emotions early on, but others need parental guidance.

Abnormal behavior is when your child’s attitude is too much. Throw tantrums more than three times a day? Or maybe your child regularly hits, bites, and yells at everyone? There are some cases where your child does not respond well to discipline.

To know when to tolerate a certain attitude, it is necessary to know three types of behavior:

1. Normative

This type of behavior is the norm or acceptable attitude in society. It can include a child’s ability to clean her toys, learn to use the bathroom, make friends, and much more.

two. occasional

It is behavior that is only acceptable under certain circumstances. Like throwing tantrums during an uncomfortable event, not playing or eating while the child is sick, etc.

3. Destructive

Attitude of the child that is harmful to oneself and to others. It includes hitting other children, misbehaving in public, yelling at or cursing at parents, etc.

The parent’s response elicits the child’s reaction.

Do you feel that your child does not listen to you? Or does he react in a different way than you expected him to? From the title itself, have you reflected on the type of reaction you show to your child?

A child’s behavior is a reflection of the parents’ reaction. The type of parenting style you use can affect your child in positive or negative ways. How is that? Because the way you react is often copied by your child.

When a child witnesses you talking to your husband/wife, your child behaves the same way. Are you in doubt?

Well, what about the type of food your child eats? One of the parents eats everything, while the other is picky, especially with vegetables. The child will soon think that it is okay not to eat the vegetables because one of the parents does not.

Now, how can you make your child love to eat vegetables when they see that you are not eating them? Isn’t that hypocrisy? When it comes to attitude, your reaction takes its toll. Here are three types of responses:

1. Ignore as a form of discipline

Parents believe that ignoring their child is the best form of parenting. In a way, it can be useful, but only in certain situations. Ignoring your child during his tantrums will send a message that she is not tolerating her behavior or that she will not “buy” him.

The wrong way to use this is when your toddler is aggressively pulling on your hair or not sharing their toys. If you use this type of parenting style, your toddler will interpret it as okay to continue the action/not wrong.

two. active control

Being too controlling can backfire. If you are strict and scold your child every time he makes a mistake, he will be passive and will grow rebellious. Yes, this can be good, temporarily, because your child will want to avoid any punishment.

But sooner or later, your child won’t follow your orders or keep secrets from you. The strict parenting style can also develop a dependent child with low self-esteem.

3. Two-way negotiations

Keep in mind that your toddler is adjusting to a new phase, the phase of learning more about what he feels and wants. If your child misbehaves, he will resort to talking saying, “No, that’s not the right way” instead of “NO! Go take your time now!”

The “time out” is only necessary when your child has repeated a certain misbehavior. So, as a way to avoid any repetition, you need to make sure you get the message across that won’t make the child feel blamed or scolded.

As a parent, be sure to control your emotions and expressions so as not to negatively impact your child’s attitude.

Nature or nurture: Which is the most influential?

Many people debate the influence of the environment and genetics on an individual’s behavior. Nature, known as genetics, is considered the reason why an individual reacts differently from others. While Nurture is also known as the environmental effects.

What do you believe in? Are behavior and/or attitude affected by what a person experiences in their day-to-day life? Or is the cause of this through what he received from his ancestors?


There are studies that measure the influence of both factors. One case involves twins who were separated as soon as they emerged from their mother’s womb. Years later, they met again and there were many similarities in the attitude of the twins.

Now, the environment they live in is different from each other. One went to a prestigious university with a room of her own, while the other stayed in a foster home, sharing a room with 5 children and attending public school. But why is there a similar attitude?

It’s because of genetics. Genetics play a very important role in the well-being of an individual. Like illnesses and physical attributes, attitude can be passed on.


Meanwhile, when it comes to the environment, you need to consider several factors:

  • Interaction with different types of people,
  • family circle and
  • Type of place or dwelling.

Culture is a perfect example of an environmental influence. Each group has different norms and beliefs, people follow this set of rules through observation. When a group of people look up while walking, the others will too, and that’s what we call the bystander effect.

If a child was taught to tidy his room every day, the child will adapt it until he grows up. Instead of a kid who wasn’t taught how to clean.

Now, how can we relate this to the destructive behavior of a child? Don’t limit yourself to one side, be sure to study and find the possible causes of your little one’s attitude.

Is it because you were too harsh in teaching your toddler (environment)? Or maybe your child has some kind of (genetic) disorder?

Is it too late to correct bad behavior?

Studies have found that once a person grows into their 30s and 40s, it will be difficult to change their behavior. It means that it is too late for them to renew because they got used to a certain pattern.

He cites for example a woman who is an impulsive buyer, one way to “change” this is by limiting her options. The truth is that she will not be able to eliminate that behavior completely, what she did was divert her attention to something else. This is different in the case of young children.

Young children between the ages of 18 months and 3 years are still “searching” for who they are. Therefore, there may be cases where the child suddenly lets off steam or throws all the toys that she has.

As long as you don’t tolerate this kind of behavior, it won’t go on like this forever. Is it possible to fix this? Of course! How?

1. No to “shame”

Embarrassing your child in front of friends and family is a form of shame. Today, some parents post their children’s “detentions” as a way to teach them a lesson.

Shaming will not do the parent-child relationship any good, all it will do is create conflict.

two. Punishment is not the answer.

Belts, hangers, and sometimes a broom are what some parents use to punish their child. Other forms of punishment are verbal from shouting while pointing fingers. Once a child witnesses a form of violence, she will do the same to something/someone else.

3. Put yourself in your child’s shoes

Before yelling or doing anything reckless, put yourself in your child’s shoes and see their perspective. What will they feel once they see you react in a certain way? People say that children will repeat the same behavior when you blame or correct too much.

The best way is to teach your child how to behave by being a good example. It starts with you, you define the behavior of your child.


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