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The Positive Parent

January 2022

Mistaken Behaviors in Young Children


By: Jamare Harris

Mistaken behavior is what we like to call the iceberg in the early childhood education world. Oftentimes, a child is exhibiting an undesirable behavior that appears to be about one thing but is actually about a larger issue underneath the surface. Typically, this larger issue is manageable. However, unaddressed, this issue seems like a huge deal.


Does your child fall apart at what seems to be the smallest things? Do they have a hard time transitioning? Conflict with authority? Then this is for you! As a parent, you are going to have to stop and analyze what is really going on with your child(ren). What time of the day is it when they are presenting these behaviors? How well are they sleeping? What does their diet look like? What does their screen time look like? We have to remember that we are a living being. If you took a plant, never gave it sunlight, never watered it, threw trash on and around it, it wouldn’t survive. Your children are plants! What we put in them, comes out. So, we have to be intentional about their environments, their nutrition, their rest, what they’re absorbing through games, TV and, ultimately, us as their parent(s).


We also have to be mindful of what triggers them. If you know that every night before bed, your child(ren) kicks and screams because they’re not ready, why aren’t we prompting them? Give your child(ren) who has hard times transitioning a heads up, a plan. Additionally, have a plan for the plan. I know that this sounds kind of overwhelming, I get it. But what’s more overwhelming is ignoring the behaviors until they’re out of control.


Involve your child(ren) who have big emotions in your day, in their day. Give them some agency over their bodies, schedules and emotions. Give them a place to display these emotions when you have nothing left in your toolbox. Dig deep parents. Dig deep and look underneath the surface. Look at the whole iceberg.



Until next time. Stay positive parents!



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