child is being naughty

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If your kid’s behaviour is driving you crazy and you’re on the verge of a tantrum yourself, it’s time to get the bottom of what’s causing them to act up. Well, first it’s time to give yourself a break and then it’s time to get the root cause of the problem. To figure out while your usually angelic child has turned into a character from a horror movie, take a look at these five reasons why your child is being naughty and their behaviour may have taken a turn for the worse:

Underlying Emotions

If your child is feeling scared, worried or anxious, it will often come out in the form of bad behaviour. When kids can’t make sense of their emotions or they don’t feel able to talk about them, frustration can bubble over and result in tantrums or meltdowns. Helping your child to articulate their emotions and teaching them how to work through them can be an effective way to put a stop to naughtiness. 

Medical Issues

Before you start laying down the law, it’s worth confirming that there aren’t any underlying medical issues which could be affecting your child’s behaviour. Young kids with undiagnosed hearing problems may seem like they’re ignoring you, for example, or become frustrated when they can’t hear what’s going on around them. For kids, the hearing test process can be fun and exciting, so don’t hesitate to take them for routine testing. Similarly, if your child is in pain but can’t tell you, it could cause upset and tantrums, so talk to your doctor to rule out potential medical causes of bad behaviour. 


Keeping your kids busy and entertained seems like the most effective way to avoid naughtiness, right? Maybe not. When kids are overstimulated or over-excited, they struggle to contain their emotions and energy. That’s why times of high excitement, like Christmas or birthdays, can be preceded by exceptionally bad behaviour (from adults, as well as kids!). If your kid’s schedule is overflowing, try scaling things back a bit and giving them time to relax and unwind. 

Pent Up Energy

If youngsters can burn off excess energy, it’s going to be rerouted into naughtiness (at best) and, at worst, outright defiance. If you want to avoid conflicts every five minutes, make sure your kids have the opportunity to burn off excess energy. At-home exercise, runs in the park, outdoor activities, or visits to soft play centres will give your kids the chance to tire themselves out and release enough energy to restore good behaviour. 

Inconsistent Rules

We’re all guilty of bending the rules to suit our own needs sometimes, but kids really do thrive with a routine. If rules and punishments are inconsistent, your child might be being naughty without really intending to be. Make rules easy to remember and consistent if you want them to be followed at all times. 

Pick Your Battles

No matter how much effort you put in, if your child is being naughty from time to time it’s completely normal. However, knowing when to pick your battles, when to double down and when to let things go with make home life a little easier to cope with. In addition to this, creating your own little stress-free corner will ensure you’ve always got somewhere to retreat to when their behaviour gets the better of you!

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Claire Kirby

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