It was one of those days where I just couldn’t get the 4 and 7 year old “residents” in our home to get along. I had a ton of overdue tasks that I needed to finish before the weekend and it just wasn’t getting done!

The fighting and arguing continued on and on and no matter what I did (which usually consisted of reprimanding and sending them back downstairs to “try again”), nothing seemed to fix the problem.

You know those moments in motherhood when you feel like you should realize what’s going on but your mind is so busy with something else that you fail to tune in? I was definitely having one of those moments. 

I went on with my doing of chores and other things and then I was suddenly reminded of a friend’s sage advice a few days before.

When my kids won’t quit arguing and don’t want to play with each other, continuing to act out no matter what I do or say, it’s sometimes because they just want…me.

Maybe it’s time that I stop trying to stand from afar and correct my children’s behavior so often and spend more time figuring out the source of the behavior.

This is hard to internalize in the moment. So often I just want to find a quick solution and walk away. 

But there’s a valuable mothering skill to be learned here.

Character training is good, but precious moments spent with mom playing dolls or Legos or what have you is likely what will make the biggest impact on your children.

So I did spend some time playing on the floor with my kids the next day. We designed a construction vehicle with tiny Legos and took Loving Family dolls on a picnic. It wasn’t much, but it was just what they wanted.

I’d like to tell you that I will remember this every time a day like this pops up again but the truth is, I won’t. And you may not either. And there’s grace in these situations for sure. 

Yet there is encouragement is in the truth that the more you practice this skill of taking a step back, figuring out what’s really going on and responding by spending some one on one time with your children, the more natural it becomes. 

When you ask someone what they remember about their childhood, most often they reminisce about a special memory made with their mom, dad or grandparents, not the hours spent learning table manners {although I can think of a funny story about just that!}.

This is a really simple truth but one that should be brought to mind as we go about our days of mothering young ones. Just another one of those things I wish someone had told me as a new mom.

It’s a wonderful way to show love to your children, to give them the gift of your precious time!

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.” 1 John 4:7

why does my child act out


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9 Comments on The Hidden Reason Why Our Children Act Out (and How to Fix It)

  1. This is such a good reminder! Our kids do need us. I need to start doing so much better about this. Thank you for entering it into our Tending The Home Tuesdays Link up :)

  2. Oh yes, I totally agree about the table manners and how you don’t want to look back and think you were trying too hard for them to act right when all they need is forgiveness, guidance, and love. LOVE this post!!!

  3. Such a good reminder! With the addition of our daughter to our family, I’ve realized that I need to intentionally spend more time with my boys so that they know that Mommy still loves them…even though the baby takes up a lot of my time. It definitely takes intentionality and purpose to make time to spend with them. :-)

  4. The truth of this post sort of smacked me between the eyes. It’s so easy to fall into the pattern of “managing” children. As if they’re another task on the to-do list. Just last night I found myself thinking, “why won’t they just play nicely together so I can make dinner?!” Yeah…I know why :) Thanks for a great post.

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