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Parenting Guide Sheets
13. Thoughts on Misbehaviour

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Page 13A
Introducing this Page
In this series of pages on Behaviour, we now move on to question what is misbehaviour? The fuller subject of misbehaviour will follow on subsequent pages. This is purely introductory with some very basic starter thoughts and questions.
1. What is Misbehaviour    
Overview of the behaviour considered.
2. Recap the Behaviour pages
3. Thinking about Co-operation
- what it is
- what we can expect
- how we can work on co-operation
1. What is Misbehaviour?
In the fairly lengthy  previous section, we have observed a variety of behaviours and causes.
To answer the question above, we need to recap and list those varied behaviours:
· Stages of development that mean limited abilities  e.g. dropping a dish
· Their place in the family structure and the feelings that can arise  e.g. feeling rejected by arrival of baby
· Their parents' poor example  e.g. learning to lie by parental example
· Their state of health  e.g. feeling grouchy at end of school
· The state of their self-esteem  e.g. drawing on the wall either to get revenge for unfair dealings or to gain lost attention
· The rules they have learnt  e.g. unrestrained behaviour from failure to control
· Fears  e.g. fears from film watching
· Wilful selfishness  e.g. temper tantrum at age nine.
Our temptation is to suggest that misbehaviour is some behaviour that is morally wrong such as stealing, lying, cheating etc. Those sorts of things we might say are morally wrong.
However when we consider the list of things above and the various examples given, there is a mixture of
· things we might consider morally wrong things and
· things we'd simply like to see changed.
        A dictionary definition of  ‘to misbehave'  is  “to behave improperly”
Right behaviour, conversely, must be ‘proper behaviour' or behaviour we would expect of our child with his or her growth and ability at any particular age and condition.
From this we can see, quite obviously, that dropping the dish in the example above is NOT misbehaviour.
Similarly, them acting lethargically when they are ill is not misbehaviour.

However we would like there to be change in both cases – growing ability and restoring to full health respectively.
When we look at others in the list we may find it difficult to decide whether is was misbehaviour or simply behaviour we'd like to see changed.
What becomes a more profitable occupation, rather than to categorise them, is to decide for all these behaviours we'd like to see changed:
· why your child is behaving as they are and
· what we can do to help them change that behaviour.
That will form the content of the latter part of this page and the next page entitled, “All about Discipline”.
2. Recap
Things we've considered on these behaviour pages are:
Reading the Signs
a) Signs at different ages
b) Signs of the absence of peace
c) Signs of Childish Irresponsibility or of Wilful Rebellion
d) Where your child might be in development
e) Factors affecting what your child believes about themselves
Key Reasons why your Child behaves as it does
a) Their stage of development
b) Their place in the Family Structure
c) You
d) Their state of health
e) The state of their self-esteem
f) The Rules they have learnt
g) Fears
h) Wilful Selfishness
What is Misbehaviour?
Overview of the behaviour considered.
Within this page we've sought to remind you that the signs are there for you to read.
Know your child!
We've also suggested an introductory list of main reasons why your child behaves like they do.
From that list we've then wondered what is misbehaviour and then, more importantly, we can go on to consider:
· what behaviour is it that we're unhappy about
· why they are behaving as they are
· what we can do about it.
Now much of this is seeking to create an overview to see the spectrum of what constitutes your child's behaviour so that we can on the next pages reconsider causes of misbehaviour, but even our list above is incomplete.
Why? It's incomplete because we've said we are considering our child's behaviour but ‘behaviour' is everything our child says and does, so there are hundreds of things like getting up in the morning, getting dressed, having breakfast, going to school and so on, that have hardly even been mentioned.
This, therefore, was a starter page to help you start looking at your child with new eyes – to see everything they do, but more particularly those things that you would probably not be happy about.
It is those things that we will consider more fully on the next page, with a view to working out their motivation and how we can help them, bring change to that behaviour that concerns us

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