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Misbehavior = Communication

Misbehavior Is CommunicationThe experts at Parent Like a Professional started in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) working with a population of children experiencing language impairment (Read: How to Promote Language Development in Your Baby).  Most of the time, these children also engaged in pretty severe problem behaviors, including tantrums, aggression, and self-injury.
How my child communicates using  misbehavior
For us to create an effective language development program for these children, it was essential for us to research the motivation for these problem behaviors and identify alternate solutions to meet the child’s needs.
First, we needed to discover WHY they were engaging in the problem behavior (e.g., wanted attention, wanted a toy, wanted to stop non-preferred tasks). Then, we had to find ways to teach them to ask for what they need rather than engage in inappropriate behavior to get what they want (Read: How to Deal with a Child Who is Acting Out).


Our research has consistently proven that all children resort to problem behavior to get their needs met if:

  • They don’t have the adequate communication tools
  • OR
  • We are ignoring their communication
  • Misbehavior IS Communication

    Our job as parents is to determine what our children are attempting to communicate with their misbehavior thereby allowing us to work on teaching more appropriate ways to communicate their needs.

From a professional perspective, if you know that your child is screaming because she wants more time with her toys before cleaning up:

    1. Wait for her to calm down
    2. Provide her words she can use, “Tell me, ‘I’d like more time, please.’”

    As you start to see patterns, you can anticipate a meltdown before it occurs, and give the words BEFORE you remove the toys or turn off the television (Read: How to Deal with Tantrums).

    Using this expert tip might take some practice, but we’re sure you will find this to be an effective and adaptable tool to use with your child throughout his or her childhood years.

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