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The Possible Reasons Behind Our Kids’ Misbehavior

Questioner

Saira

Reply Date

Nov 21, 2018

Question

My three year old "hits" me and screams loudly throughout the day. I have tried everything to get this behavior to subside, but he continues so much that I am constantly nervous from his yelling or whining. what can I do?

Counselor

Answer


misbehavior

In this counseling answer:

•The child is testing you and pushing towards his boundaries to see how much further he can go and how much more he can get away with. A firm stand from the beginning would have put all these problems to bed.

•They must also adhere to rules within the household; for instance, if the food is not eaten by certain time, then the parents should take it away until next time. When children are hungry, they will learn to eat their food to the last bit and with respect to the manners of feeding.

•A sleeping routine should be followed so that children are put in bed at specific times each evening; I suggest 8:00 p.m. for example. If children are not used to sleeping early, then the parents should train them and they will adapt to this style very quickly.


As-salamu `alaykum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh.

Dear Sister, thank you for trusting us with your problem. We ask Allah Most High, Most Merciful, to bring calm to your child.

Your child’s case is common and we have certainly seen this pattern of behavior before from very young children. In our experience, such behavior is usually linked to certain stimulating acts from adults dealing with the child. To be more specific, we think that parents and immediate family could be, without knowing it, supporting this kind of misbehavior in their children. I will touch base on a few mistakes that adults make that could be directly related to this problem:

1. A loving family could encourage bad-behavior from youngsters (less than 3 years) in the form of jokes, such as getting the child to hit an adult or abuse them, without taking a stand against that behavior. On the contrary, such acts may encourage children by adults laughing or asking the child to do it again. The problem with that approach is that children are very intelligent beings, and when they grow a bit older and we then try to discipline them for the same actions, it is too late and too confusing for the child.

For the child, nothing has changed. The child is used to doing whatever he or she wants (hitting, kicking, and mistreating others) but now, the same people are unhappy with this behavior—that is confusing to the child. The right way is not to tolerate such a behavior from the outset.


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The child is testing you and pushing towards his boundaries to see how much further he can go and how much more he can get away with. A firm stand from the beginning would have put all these problems to bed. Children need to live within the boundaries that parents put for them, so long as these boundaries are reasonable for a child to live, grow, and prosper in a normal way.

They must also adhere to rules within the household; for instance, if the food is not eaten by certain time, then the parents should take it away until next time. When children are hungry, they will learn to eat their food to the last bit and with respect to the manners of feeding.

Also, a sleeping routine should be followed so that children are put in bed at specific times each evening; I suggest 8:00 p.m. for example. If children are not used to sleeping early, then the parents should train them and they will adapt to this style very quickly.

I know it can be painful in the beginning, but it will certainly be worth it in the end. If your child misbehaves again (hits you) you must tap him on his hand and do not smile at all, even if he cries. You must remember that he cries now for the sake of his future. If your child kicks and screams for something he wants in others hands, you should take him away from it, put him in bed, and tell him that that is no way to get something he wants; he must ask politely for it. Sometimes, you can also deny him something he wants because it is inappropriate or unsuitable for his age.

2. The extended absence of parents from home every day means that parents, especially the mother, are unable to discipline their children. The amount of time left does not allow parents to put measures and implement them successfully, as that is often time-consuming and needs observation and follow up. That time may not be available to working parents. If this is the case, in your situation you should sincerely consider changing your lifestyle to accommodate your child’s needs and give him more time.

At the end, I ask Allah again to give you strength and to bring calm to your child, Ameen.

I encourage you to stay in touch with us. If you are not sure how to implement any measure please ask, and we will always try to serve you as best we can.

Jazaka Allahu khayrun.

***

Disclaimer: The conceptualization and recommendations stated in this response are very general and purely based on the limited information provided in the question. In no event shall AboutIslam, its counselors or employees be held liable for any damages that may arise from your decision in the use of our services.




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