Child Behaviour: 7 Stages to Expect From Your Kids

From tears to laughter and everything in between, your children will continuously keep you on your toes with their many stages of behaviour. As your children go through different developmental phases, it is important as a parent we understand what child behaviour is normal (although it may drive you crazy sometimes).

TERRIBLE TANTRUMS STAGE

Whether you’ve experienced it with your own kid, or spectated from the sidelines, tantrums are a common way children express their emotions throughout childhood. As far as child behaviour goes, sometimes tantrums can be overwhelming, but it’s crucial you remain calm and try to understand why your child is acting this way. In most cases, sticking with your child and providing them with reassurance and affection will calm them down. Once they have cooled down, debriefing about what they could’ve done to prevent the situation can help them understand that the tantrum wasn't necessary.

WHINGING STAGE 

As your child’s verbal skills begin to develop and be voiced, every parent will suffer going through the whinging and whining stage of child behaviour. Whinging occurs throughout childhood, but is most common during the younger years. As a parent, this can be overwhelming and frustrating, but it is important you understand the underlying reasons for your child’s behaviour. Whinging often indicates that your children are asking for help, feel a lack of control, or are stressed about their daily life. Maintaining a calm, positive, and reassuring approach is the most successful strategy to let them release their tension and feel better.

STRUGGLING TO MAKE FRIENDS STAGE

Unfortunately, children at times can be subject to bullying at school. Whether it’s exclusion or name-calling, no parent wants their child to feel alone and rejected. Children will often bottle these emotions until they tell you “I have no one to play with” or “So-and-so is being mean to me.” At this point, speaking with the classroom teacher is vital, as they can help with addressing the issue to ensure their students respect and accept diversity. From here, your school is obliged to encourage inclusion through classroom activities and provide a safe and open environment for all the children. Being patient and supportive is key, and in no time your child will find the right friends, and this stage of child behaviour will shift.

FEARFUL STAGE

Throughout the different ages and stages of childhood, your children will likely experience feelings of fear and anxiety. For toddlers, this could be the fear of loud noises, new faces, and being separated from their parents. This type of child behaviour can continue into the school years, but at this later stage, children often experience nightmares and become afraid of the dark. As a parent, allowing your children time to outgrow their fears and help them deal with these anxieties in a positive light can provide them with coping mechanisms.

BOISTEROUS STAGE

Loud, energetic, and physical, children can be extremely boisterous – particularly boys. From a young age, boys often love action and adventure and may test their limits through impulsive behaviour. Allowing them to explore their boisterous side is important – but monitoring their aggression levels and encouraging them to be kind and compassionate can benefit their understanding of what is right and wrong.

COMPETITIVE STAGE

Although competitiveness can be a positive attribute, sometimes this can lead to arrogance and bad sportsmanship. Parents should foster their child’s competitive side by endorsing good sportsmanship with their peers. This includes teaching them to respond positively and learn from both victories and losses. As your children get older, having this ingrained in their routine will be acknowledged and appreciated by peers, coaches, and other parents.

SHY STAGE

Shy children are often reluctant to voice their thoughts and try new things. This isn't necessarily a negative thing, as kids who are shy are generally better listeners and stay out of trouble. Embracing this shyness while challenging your child to get out of their comfort zone can help them boost their confidence levels and build friendships. A way of helping your child overcome their shy stage is rewarding them for trying new activities – although forcing them can have adverse effects, so be sure to make the experience positive.

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