Bad Behavior - Is it just a Phase?

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Your daughter will most likely try a range of behaviors. Many of which will not occur ever again as they didn't work. Some behaviors will become a part of her usual behavior. Which behaviors will your daughter stick to? It really depends on the results of each experience. She is at an age where having your approval and love is very important to her. She needs to see your reaction to her behaviors. Outside reactions from others also play a role. For example, punishments and rewards can be a big influence on her behavior. She will seek the approval of you, her teachers, and her friends.

How much influence do you, as a parent, have over this? At this age, quite a bit. When they are teenagers, a whole lot less. Your influence is through two means.

1. How you respond emotionally to her behaviors. Do you approve or disapprove of her behaviors?

2. How you control her external environment. You have the power to choose her school, neighbors, and people she will be in contact with. You are the one who can give her punishments and rewards.

Weaving what he discussed together and looking at this strategically, you need to answer the following questions:

Do you think your daughter is just experimenting with her behaviors and that it will pass? If you do, then don't worry about it at all as she will move on to better behavior. Kids tend to do mischievous things at this age and still end up to be productive adults.

Another item to consider is the intensity of reaction you demonstrate to bad behavior. Take swearing for example. If you become exasperated every time she swears, she may view swearing as an adventure because she wants to see you get red with anger.

If you feel as if her bad behavior is escalating too much then you need to do something to combat it.

When this happens you will need to rely on your opinion of the situation. Are you doing all the things you can as a parent? Make sure that you are a positive role model. Remember, you have a significant influence on her.

Next, check out the school and your neighborhood. How have the children who grew up in this neighborhood fared when they grew up? Do they become productive adults or do most of the kids spend time in juvenile detention for most of their teenage years?