n the case of stress-behavior, the child is not fully aware of what he’s doing. He has a limited capacity to restrain himself, or
Behave! Try harder! None of us are at our best when we’re tired or stressed out, especially kids. In fact, much of what we see as “misbehaviour” in kids is actually “stress behaviour” — the result of being over-stressed, unaware of it and unaware of what to do about it. Think of the child who is highly impulsive, has frequent tantrums or meltdowns, won’t listen, can’t tolerate frustration, gives up easily, or has trouble managing relationships or showing empathy. Behaviours that trigger our automatic thought that a child is “bad” or “lazy” or “undisciplined” are often a sign that their stress level is way too high and they’re running on empty — with no energy left to manage anything else.