Why Nice Kids Act Naughty
You might think he’s trying to drive you nuts, but your kid’s misbehavior probably means that something else is bugging him.
Outbursts are often rooted in seemingly unrelated issues. Get to the bottom of those and you’ll be better able to calm your child down.
MY 9-YEAR-OLD daughter, Drew, seemed possessed. I simply couldn’t come up with another reason for her frequent freak-outs. For fourth-grade math, she had to practice the multiplication tables for ten minutes a day using an app. The digital rewards for the task were funny-looking monsters—as close to Pokémon Go as an educational tool could get. When she first played the game, she declared it “super awesomeness.” But every evening, as her dad and I cleaned up dinner, she’d sit at the kitchen table with our tablet and kick and scream about how stupid math is. Playing the game as an assignment transformed her into a demon child. It made no sense.
I tried to persuade her with logic: “If you’d put your mind to the work instead of complaining about it, you’d be done by now.” This only made matters worse. “Are you saying I’m stupid?” she’d yell, storming out of the room. I’d reassure her, then redirect her to the table. Once. Twice. By the third time, my patience was shot, leaving behind only my alter ego, known not so affectionately around the house as “The Momster.”
“If you don’t get this math done, you’ll spend the weekend in your room!” I’d threaten. Finally, she’d give in, growling at me the entire time. But at least it was over—until the next night.