4 Ways Our Kids Are Just Being Kids, Even If We Think They’re Acting Out
Kids will be kids! If only, as parents, we could get our kids to listen to everything we say, all the time. As independent beings with a growing sense of themselves, our kids start making decisions which don’t always agree with our own. We can get lost in our sense of authority and our entitlement to respect as parents. It is critical to remember that our kids are kids and in addition to being kids they are growing into independent adults, one day at a time. These are five common ways you likely think your kids are acting out, when they’re really just being kids, exactly as they should. Identifying a behavioral issue can be challenging. When adverse behavior is rare to cease or becomes worse over time, there is likely a reason to seek professional advice.
We walked into the kitchen when our kids were toddlers to find them covered in peanut butter or having emptied the cabinets of pots. Why, we would deplore, would you do that? As toddlers and young children, our kids didn’t have answers. The brain doesn’t fully evolve out of childlike impulsivity until the brain reaches its developmental peak. Though the conditions might change from peanut butter-smearing to a run in with shoplifting or fighting with siblings, the impulsive and inexplicable behaviors will continue for some time. For adolescents and kids who are prone to impulsivity due to a mental health condition like ADHD or ADD, impulsivity could be an ongoing issue. Impulsivity leads to risk-taking behavior which can lead to substance abuse and addiction.
Our kids are more stressed today than they have been in previous generations. The stress we experience as parents is also felt by our children. We also create stress for our children. We put more pressure on our kids today than parents have before with extra curricular activities and idealized standards of success. Despite our kids’ impressive and abundant energy, they are not an endless source of energy. Even batteries have to be recharged or swapped out once in awhile. Hyper Exhaustion happens when our kids completely burn out. They may act cranky, rebellious, indignant and defiant. Kids who start refusing to participate in their commitments are overloaded and need a break. As parents, it can be hard to sympathize because parenting is a full time job from which we never get a day off. It’s important to teach kids self-care the same way we learn to take care of ourselves. Sometimes, everyone in the household needs a good nap!
On the other hand, our kids do have that high energy which demands movement, engagement and interaction. We don’t always have to participate in what our kids do, but we can also miss signs that our kids want us to participate. Small acts which seem like calls for attention, impulsivity, or defiance could be our children telling us they want to play. Playtime with our kids, adolescents, and teenagers, doesn’t last forever. While their energy is still directed toward us, we should meet the call to engage with our kid’s lives.
Addiction can tear the family apart. At Stonewater Adolescent Recovery Center, we take pride in bringing the family back together through therapeutic healing. Serving Mississippi and the south with quality adolescent residential treatment, our programs offer unique comprehensive and customized care for substance use disorders. For information and to verify your insurance, call us today: 662-598-4214.