MILWAUKEE -- The tantrums, meltdowns, and just downright defiance can be infuriating for parents. But many of the "bad behaviors" kids have aren't so naughty after all. In fact, they're rather normal. Child development expert Jessica Lahner with Carroll University joins Real Milwaukee to talk about a few situations where kids appear to be acting bad, but aren't .
Common Culprit #1: Tired. Cure: Prioritize sleep
- Kids require 10-12 hrs sleep/night. Kids who get less tantrum more.
- Set phone/fitbit alarms for naps/bedtimes if breezy summer days lead to losing track of time.
Common Culprit #2: Hungry (hangry). Cure: Healthy snacks at regular intervals
- Healthy snacks/meals at regular intervals.
- Keeps healthy snacks in the car/purse/diaper bag
- If child is acting up uncharacteristically, look at the clock and consider the last time she ate
Common Culprit #3: Fuzzy limits. Cure: Consistency is key
- Inconsistency is confusing.
- Kids thrive on routines and predicable limits
Common Culprit #4: Overwhelming feelings. Cure: Let them feel.
- 'Don`t cry.' 'It`s not that bad.' Teaches kids to 'stuff' their emotions
- Empathize with their feelings; help them label feelings; guide toward appropriate expression
- Will learn to modulate emotion with practice and maturity