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Four Steps Model
Step 1: Identify the Behavior
Step 2: Understand the Effects
Step 3: Identify the Cause
Step 4: Avoid Mistakes

Related Behaviors
The Angry
The Bully
The Defier
The Influencer
The Overly Aggressive
You Can Handle Them All

Primary Causes of Misbehavior

The well-behaved child behaves well for a reason. Likewise, the child who acts up is doing it for a reason. The fact is that all behavior has purpose. This is the main reason we can’t lump all discipline problems under one label and deal with them the same way. It won’t work. “The Bully” doesn’t have the same reasons for misbehaving as “The Class Clown” does. The child who talks non-stop is different from the child who talks back.

One of the toughest—but most important—things we can do when we’re trying to help a child behave in a better manner is discovering the purpose of the misbehavior. We cannot treat any misbehavior effectively until we know the reasons for it. It isn’t always easy to keep our cool and really think about why the child is misbehaving, but it will certainly pay off when we do it.

To say that there are only four reasons for misbehavior would be untrue. As the parent, you will understand your child and what causes him or her to have behavior problems better than anyone else can. However, the vast majority of misbehavior arises from four causes: lack of attention, lack of power, revenge, and lack of self-confidence. For this reason, these four receive special attention in this resource.

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