Children Don’t Really Misbehave
Most parents and teachers think that children are “behaviors” or “misunderstandings.” This behavior labeled “good” and “bad” begins when the child is young enough. In our [P.E.T. Training programs and T.T.], who try to help parents see that children do not do too bad deal.
Interestingly, the term applies almost exclusively to children – rarely to adults. We never heard of saying,
“My husband was very tired yesterday.”
“One of our guests was mistreated at last night’s party.”
“I was so angry when my friend was abused during lunch.”
“My employees have abused these days.”
Apparently, these are just children who are perceived as ill – any other person. Misconduct is exclusively the language of parents and teachers, linked in no way to how adults have traditionally regarded children. It is also used in almost all parenting books I have read, and I read a few.
I believe that adults say that a child does not trust every time it is considered contrary to the way adults think that the child should behave a specific action. The verdict of misconduct is clearly an adult value judgment – a label on a particular behavior, a negative judgment of what the child did. Misconduct is, in fact, a specific action of the child that the adult sees as an undesirable consequence for the adult. What makes the patient behavior (misbehaving) of a child is the perception that the behavior is, or could be, the misbehavior of adults. “Bad” behavior actually resides in the minds of adults, not children; The child realizes what he chooses or has to do to meet certain needs.
In other words, adults feel bad, not the child. Specifically, these are the consequences of the child’s behavior for the adult who feels bad or potentially wrong, it is not the behavior itself.
When parents and teachers make this critical distinction, they experience a marked change in their attitude toward their children or students. They begin to see all young people’s actions simply as behaviors, dedicated solely to get the needs met. When adults begin to see children as people like them, they engage in different behaviors to meet normal human needs, they are much less likely to evaluate behavior as good or bad.
They accept that children however do not actually wear out, does not mean, that adults will always feel accepted what they do. No need to wait, since children are forced to do things that adults do not want, things that hinder their own “pursuit of happiness”. But even then the child is not sick or sick, not trying to do something for adults, but to try to do something for himself.
It is only when parents and teachers make this important change – by shifting the place from the problem of the child to the adult – that they can begin to appreciate the logical alternative that is not the power to deal with a behavior they do not accept.