Why do kids: Kids (for Kids) – Nemours KidsHealth

Опубликовано: April 16, 2023 в 9:19 pm


Категории: Kid

Why Do Kids Act Out? | Functional Behavior Analysis

Tantrums, whining, hitting…all kids act out sometimes. And when they do, parents are left wondering how to get them to just stop it and behave!

The key to helping kids change problem behaviors is understanding what’s driving them in the first place. To do that, some experts use a strategy called Functional Behavior Analysis. FBA is used in therapy for kids on the autism spectrum, and to help kids whose behavior problems in school are interfering with learning. But with a little preparation, parents can use it to help kids at home, too.

The four functions of behavior

In Functional Behavior Analysis, the function refers to the motivation or purpose behind a child’s behavior. But that function isn’t always obvious, and behaviors can have more than one function, explains Stephanie Lee, PsyD, director of the ADHD and Behavior Disorders Center at Child Mind Institute. Parents, she says, often have to do some detective work, by thinking through what happened before and after the tantrum or outburst, to figure out what’s actually driving the behavior.

There are four functions of behavior in FBA:

  • Escape or delay
  • Access to tangibles
  • Need for attention
  • Sensory stimulation

Understanding them — and how they inform the techniques experts use to change difficult behaviors — can help you help your child curb problem behaviors more effectively.

1. Escape or delay

The child wants to get away from a situation they don’t like or avoid a task they don’t want to do.

Escape and delay is a big motivator of behavior. Kids have to do A LOT of things they don’t want to do (see eating vegetables, cleaning up, doing homework…). And, when kids don’t want to do something, they’re likely to behave poorly to get out of it, especially if acting up has worked for them in the past.

For example, Dr. Lee says, “I once observed a boy who regularly kicked a girl at school. Eventually I recognized that every time a math lesson began, he’d kick the girl next to him then look at the door.” The boy, she explains, was getting in trouble intentionally.  “He was waiting for the principal to come get him, and by the time he went back to class, math was over.”

How to change escape or delay behaviors:

  • Reward kids for appropriate behavior by reducing the demands. For example, if they immediately come to the table without complaint, they only have to eat half of their Brussels sprouts. Offering rewards that allow them do less of the thing they’re trying to avoid can help reduce stress and incentivize good behaviors.
  • Let them know that escape is not an option. Give your child advanced warning of when something must be done. You can even set a timer. When it’s time to do the thing, there is no arguing or negotiating – it will happen, even if you need to assist them in the task. For example, if they refuse to put on their coat, you’ll put it on for them.  
  • Praise them when they do what they’re asked without a fuss. Positive attention for even small, simple tasks like putting away their shoes or turning the TV off the first time they’re asked will encourage that behavior.

2. Access to tangibles

The child wants a specific item (candy or a toy) or activity (access to their iPad).

A tangible could be a treat, the toy their sibling is playing with, or time on an iPad. Sometimes the tangible is obvious; other times it’s not. For example, a child who keeps asking for things at the grocery store. “Mom, can we buy this?” “Can we buy that?”  The badgering goes on until the frustrated parent offers their phone as a distraction. Sound familiar? It’s obvious the child wants something, but it’s likely the end goal is access to the phone rather than an extra bag of cookies.

Likewise, Dr. Lee recalls a parent telling her that after a tantrum over ice cream, they gave their child peanuts because they didn’t want them to go to bed hungry. In situations like this, she points out that the real tangible may actually be the peanuts, not the ice cream.

How to change behaviors when kids are seeking access to a tangible:

  • Create a contract. Prevent poor behaviors tangibles by being proactive, not reactive. For example, before heading into the grocery store, make a deal with your child: If they don’t ask for anything while you’re in the store, you’ll buy them a cookie before you leave.
  • Remove the tangible from the environment. Hiding tangibles can help. For example, kids will be more upset about an iPad they’re not allowed to use if it’s sitting right there on the kitchen counter. The same goes for your phone. If your child cannot play with it, then, as much as possible, be careful not use it in front of them.
  • Let them know when they can, and can’t, have access to the tangible. If your child is allowed 30 minutes of iPad time when they get home from school, set a timer to let them know how much time they have. When the timer goes off, remind them of the next time they’ll have access to the iPad and for how long. Visual schedules can also help children understand that the item isn’t going away forever, it’s just for right now.

3. Need for Attention

The child wants attention, usually from a parent or teacher – and any attention will do, even getting yelled at.

When kids act out, Dr. Lee says, “they don’t actually care if the attention they get is positive or negative, they just want their attention big, bold, and immediate.” It’s about the duration, proximity, and intensity, she says. Because of this, kids often act in a way that’s likely to get them the most attention, even if that means getting in trouble.

For example, a student who’s quietly working at their desk might receive mild praise from the teacher. The praise probably won’t be for very long or very enthusiastic, and the teacher might be several desks away. But, if that same kid throws their pencil, it’s likely that the teacher will come over immediately and say, excitedly, “What are you doing! We don’t throw things in here. What’s going on?”

Similarly, just when you’re beginning a work call or engaged in cooking dinner, one of your children grabs their sibling’s toy and hits them. Or, they climb on top of the sofa…and jump. They know they’ll get in trouble, but they do it anyway, because they also know it will get your attention.

How to change attention-seeking behavior:

  • Set kids up to occupy themselves. If your child often acts up when you need to do something else, being proactive can help. Set your child up with an activity that will last for the duration of your call or dinner prep. And if your child regularly craves physical touch, make sure to give them a hug before you log on to your meeting.
  • Planned ignoring. The most powerful way to change a behavior that’s motivated by attention is to refuse to reward the behavior with attention, says Dr. Lee. Children won’t give up their need for attention easily, so be prepared for the behaviors to get worse before they get better – this is called an extinction burst. But eventually, the behaviors will stop. You should only use planned ignoring when you have the time, safe space and patience to get over the hump with your kid.
  • Give regular and specific positive attention for good behavior.  Whenever you can, make a point of using labeled praise for behaviors you want to see. For example, “Great job sharing your crayons with your brother.”
  • Help kids practice patience. Start by asking kids to be patient for short, predictable periods of time. For example, set a five-minute timer before you go to the bathroom and let them know you’ll be back by the time it goes off. Praise them for waiting patiently. Then gradually increase the time as kids get more comfortable.

4. Sensory stimulation

The child does something because it feels good, provides comfort, relieves pain, helps them expend energy, or calms them down.

Behaviors driven by a need for sensory stimulation — or to stop disturbing stimulation — are commonly seen in kids on the autism spectrum as well as other children with sensory processing issues. “These kids are seeking out sensory input because they like the way it makes them feel,” explains Stephanie Ruggiero, PsyD, a clinical psychologist at the Child Mind Institute Or, she adds,  “they’re behaving in a way that limits their access to certain things because their senses are overstimulated.”

Examples of sensory-seeking behaviors:

  • Chewing on objects, like pen caps or clothing
  • Spinning in circles, flapping hands, crashing into furniture
  • Making repetitive sounds vocally (like clicking or humming noises) or physically (like tapping hands or feet) in places or situations where silence is expected
  • Touching or smelling other people or things repeatedly, often without asking
  • Self-injury to provide sensory input (such as banging their head because it feels good, skin picking to feel the skin under their nails).

Examples of sensory-avoidant behaviors:

  • Refusing to eat certain foods, or wear certain clothing
  • Covering ears when they believe sounds are too loud
  • Avoiding certain people or things due to their scent
  • Self-injury to avoid something (such as banging their head to avoid hearing a bothersome sound, skin picking to soothe their anxiety).

How to change sensory-seeking or sensory-avoidant problem behaviors:

  • Replace a harmful behavior with a safe alternative. For example, if a child constantly picks at their skin to ease their anxiety, occupying their hands with a fidget toy or something else they can “pick” at, like putty or stickers, can help prevent the behavior.
  • Set limits around the behavior. Some behaviors, like making sounds or spinning around are okay in some settings, but problematic in others. Help your child become aware of their behavior, learn when and where it’s appropriate, and work together to find an appropriate replacement behavior for when they need sensory stimulation.
  • Find solutions to help your child cope with the loud noise, uncomfortable clothing, bad smell, etc. You can minimize or eliminate your child’s sensory-avoidant behaviors by making accommodations that meet their needs. For example, purchase noise-cancelling headphones, prioritize comfort over style when it comes clothing or suggest a family member not wear a certain fragrance when around your child.

Collect data to determine the function

Dr. Ruggiero says the best way to determine the function of the problem behavior is to collect data.

“I’m a big proponent of what we call ABC data, which stands for antecedent, behavior, consequence,” she explains. “That means you should track what’s happening right before the behavior, what the behavior entailed, the duration, and your response to the behavior.” This allows you to find the pattern, leading you to the function.

Ruggerio says that if the behavior happens several times a day, you may be able to see the pattern within a week, but if it occurs only once or twice a week, it could take a month or more.

Once you’ve determined the function of a problem behavior and implement a plan to change it, continue to track the behavior for at least two weeks (the amount of time it takes to begin forming a new habit) to see if there’s any improvement. “It can take longer if you need to teach a replacement behavior or a new skill,” says Dr. Ruggerio. “And, it’s also possible that your child may go through an extinction burst where the frequency and intensity increases before you begin to see a change.”

If nothing changes, you might have misidentified their motivation or there is more than one reason for their behavior.

Once you’ve successfully eliminated a behavior, if it returns at a later point, begin the process again. Children do change over time, which means that the function of their behavior can also change.

7 Reasons Why Children Lie and The Best Ways To Deal With It

| Development of lying | Why do kids lie | How common is lying among children | How to deal with a child lying |

Children of all ages lie.

When your child lies, you may question your own parenting.

While no parent likes to see lying in kids, learning the reasons kids do it is the key to stopping this behavior.

Development of lying

Lying is developmentally normal although it is also a problematic behavior.

Telling Lies is a major developmental milestone associated with the theory of mind.

In the theory of mind, people understand that different people have different mental states that can differ from reality.  Children can only understand lying and tell convincing lies if they are aware of their own and others’ mental statuses as well as their own​1​.

In addition, to be successful, a lie-teller must develop executive functions such as inhibitory control, planning, social development, and interpretation of social norms​2​.

They must ensure that the content of a false statement does not contradict the lie (semantic leakage control) and incongruent behavior is suppressed (non-verbal leakage control)​3​.

In some ways, developing these new skills is a good thing for a child’s development.

Lie-telling is ubiquitous across cultures. It generally emerges at a young age during the preschool years and develops rapidly with age.

7 Reasons why kids lie

Children lie for different reasons. Here are the seven most common reasons and the kinds of lies children tell​4​.

1. They lie to cover-up

Cover-up lies are told to avoid getting punished.

Deliberate lying behavior in children is, in part, influenced by how they perceive the negative consequences of disclosing the truth versus the positive consequences of telling the truth​5​.

The likelihood of lying about misbehavior is greater for kids who expect harsh punishment such as spanking​6​.

2. They lie to explore the possibilities

Exploratory lies are told when kids try to find out what’s on the other side of the truth. Children may tell these lies out of curiosity or for fun.

3. They lie to brag

Whopper lies are told to brag or exaggerate one’s achievement to attain a higher status or save one’s self-esteem. For example, kids may falsely claim to have won an award when in fact they didn’t.

4. They lie to get attention

Blatant lies are attention-seeking lying. When children tell blatant lies, they know that they will be noticed since others know the truth.

5. They confuse imagination with reality

An intentional lie is when a child makes a false statement on purpose with the intent to create false beliefs in others. However, sometimes kids mistake fantasies for real life and unknowingly lie about them.

So when young kids lie about something, it is important to distinguish whether they are confused about fantasies or trying to keep secrets.

Fantasy lies contain elements from a make-believe world. Usually, these elements are to take the blame or serve what the child wishes to happen.

6. They lie to be polite

From very early on, children are taught not to lie. But in certain social situations, they are also taught, implicitly or explicitly, that they shouldn’t tell the blunt truth. White lies are common in such situations where politeness is expected.

For instance, when children receive unwanted gifts, they tell lies to adults by pretending to like them​7​.

Children as young as 3 are also able to tell white lies to avoid hurting others’ feelings. As an example, if a child believes that admitting wrongdoing will leave their parents disappointed in them, they may lie to conceal the truth​8​.

7. They lie to protect others

Altruistic lies are told to protect others, usually peers or parents. They may or may not be explicitly asked, but feel that they should do so to help.

How common is lying among children

To study lying in children’s lie-telling behavior, researchers have created an experiment called the temptation resistance paradigm experiment.

In this experiment, the researchers explicitly instruct children not to look at or play with a toy when left alone. Most children are unable to obey the researchers’ instructions due to their natural curiosity and difficulty resisting temptation. Once the researcher returns, the child is asked whether they have seen or played with the toy. 

Researchers found that lying increased with age. In this experiment, around one-third of 3-year-olds lied, compared with more than half of those between ages 4 and 7. The older children were also able to maintain their lies when they are asked follow-up questions​9​.

How to deal with a child’s lying

In society, we assume and hope others are honest. 

Socially, lying is discouraged, as it can have negative repercussions for relationships. It can also erode the foundations of our children’s moral character.

Cover-up lying may be one of the first signs of future antisocial or delinquent behaviors in children.

While this is not something that can be changed overnight, parents can try the following steps to stop or prevent the pattern of repetitive lying.

Distinguish the type of lies

If you are dealing with younger children, the first step is to find out if they can tell the difference between reality and the child’s imagination.

Kids may simply be confused about what their wishful thinking is as opposed to what actually happens.

Acknowledge and help them make things right

When you find out about an actual lie, calmly address it by telling your child that you know about it. 

Do not engage in a power struggle. Avoid accusatory tone or language. When you use an aversive tone, children tend to disregard what you say. 

If they have done something wrong, ask them to make it right. It could be an apology, makeup homework, or repair. Give them a second chance to do the right thing.

Do not punish

You may be surprised about this step. After all, punishment is used to discipline all over the world.

If you make a mistake, you get punished. It seems logical.

However, has our legal system been successful in stopping crime? (the answer is “No” for those who have doubt)

Punishment avoidance is an external incentive. The desire to do what is right is an internal incentive.

External motivation cannot produce the same kind of results as motivation that comes from within.

In the temptation resistance experiment, children who came from a punitive environment lied more than those who came from a non-punitive one​10​.

Nobody in their right mind would subject themselves to punitive punishment. If a child thinks they would be punished for telling the truth, of course, they will lie. It’s human nature to protect yourself.

So, if you don’t want your child to lie and you want them to develop internal motivation to tell the truth, stop using punishment as a consequence.

It doesn’t mean you should ignore their mistakes. As mentioned, you must address it and give them the opportunity to make it right.

Teach moral values

A child’s moral evaluation of lies is related to their lie-telling behavior. 

Those who value the truth are less likely to lie. They are internally motivated to tell the truth.

Teach children the positive aspects of honest behavior. Even if you have made a mistake, telling the truth feels good because you are doing the right thing. You are taking responsibility and not hiding.

On the other hand, dishonest behavior makes you feel bad because you are deceiving someone. It can cause problems or hurt others. Telling lies can also lead to more lying later to cover up the first lie.

Be a role model of honesty

Most adults admit to lying to their children, according to research. They may lie to children to control their behavior, get them to cooperate, or control their emotions. Sometimes they lie because it is easier than giving an accurate but difficult explanation​11​.

Modeling and imitation are two ways in which children learn. Kids can acquire or reinforce lying behavior by watching their parents lie.

In the temptation resistance paradigm, a school-age child who was lied to was more likely to lie and peek than one who was not lied to​12​.

Children learn what type of behavior is acceptable from their parents. Set a good example for them and model it through your behavior. 

Oftentimes, it does take more time and effort to explain the truth. Children from families where adult lying is accepted will see that lying is normal behavior.

Teach the difference between antisocial lies and white-lies

Not all lies are bad. Adults tell white lies all the time. Children may be confused by why we teach them one thing while doing another.

Antisocial lies are motivated by self-interest. They are intended to harm others, to obtain personal gain, or to avoid punishment.

But white lies are a common form of lies told by adults in everyday life to maintain social relationships. These lies do not harm others​13​.

We must teach children the difference so they can lie in a socially appropriate and effective manner.

Ask children to promise

According to a study, when researchers discussed the difference between lies and truth with children and then asked them to promise to tell the truth, lying was significantly reduced.

Courts use a similar sequence of events when children are called to testify. They believe it has a truth-promoting effect.

Final thoughts on why do kids lie

Kids can be taught the virtue of truthfulness from an early age.

The choice between punishment and no punishment has a much deeper significance than just about lying or not lying.

The difference is between raising a child who strives to do the right thing versus one who only tries to stay out of trouble or not get caught. 


  1. 1.

    Evans AD, Lee K. Emergence of lying in very young children. Developmental Psychology. Published online 2013:1958-1963. doi:10.1037/a0031409

  2. 2.

    Williams S, Leduc K, Crossman A, Talwar V. Young Deceivers: Executive Functioning and Antisocial Lie-telling in Preschool Aged Children. Inf Child Dev. Published online January 11, 2016:e1956. doi:10.1002/icd.1956

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    Talwar V, Lee K. Development of lying to conceal a transgression: Children’s control                of expressive behaviour during verbal deception. International Journal of Behavioral Development. Published online September 2002:436-444. doi:10.1080/01650250143000373

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    Stouthamer-Loeber M. Lying as a problem behavior in children: A review. Clinical Psychology Review. Published online January 1986:267-289. doi:10.1016/0272-7358(86)90002-4

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    Talwar V, Lee K, Bala N, Lindsay RCL. Children’s conceptual knowledge of lying and its relation to their actual behaviors: Implications for court competence examinations. Law and Human Behavior. Published online 2002:395-415. doi:10.1023/a:1016379104959

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    Talwar V, Arruda C, Yachison S. The effects of punishment and appeals for honesty on children’s truth-telling behavior. Journal of Experimental Child Psychology. Published online February 2015:209-217. doi:10.1016/j.jecp.2014.09.011

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    Heyman GD, Sweet MA, Lee K. Children’s Reasoning about Lie-telling and Truth-telling in Politeness Contexts. Social Development. Published online August 2009:728-746. doi:10.1111/j.1467-9507.2008.00495.x

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    Talwar V, Murphy SM, Lee K. White lie-telling in children for politeness purposes. International Journal of Behavioral Development. Published online January 2007:1-11. doi:10.1177/0165025406073530

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    Talwar V, Lee K. Social and Cognitive Correlates of Childrens Lying Behavior. Child Development. Published online July 2008:866-881. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2008.01164.x

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    Talwar V, Lee K. A Punitive Environment Fosters Children’s Dishonesty: A Natural Experiment. Child Development. Published online October 24, 2011:1751-1758. doi:10.1111/j.1467-8624.2011.01663.x

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    Heyman GD, Luu DH, Lee K. Parenting by lying. Journal of Moral Education. Published online August 11, 2009:353-369. doi:10.1080/03057240903101630

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    Hays C, Carver LJ. Follow the liar: the effects of adult lies on children’s honesty. Dev Sci. Published online March 17, 2014:977-983. doi:10.1111/desc.12171

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    DePaulo BM, Kashy DA. Everyday lies in close and casual relationships. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Published online 1998:63-79. doi:10.1037/0022-3514.74.1.63

About Pamela Li

Pamela Li is a bestselling author. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Parenting For Brain. Her educational background is in Electrical Engineering (MS, Stanford University) and Business Management (MBA, Harvard University). Learn more

View all posts by Pamela Li | Website

Why kids can be cruel and ruthless

  • Kelly Oakes
  • BBC Future

Image copyright, Getty Images

What would you do if you knew your child was bullying one of his classmates? Maybe you think that in this cruel world it will be easier for him to live this way?

Ruby-Sam Youngs was 10 years old when she was bullied at school. Her family had just moved from England to Wales and her new classmates were bullying her accent. Then they began to make fun of her appearance.

“Everything completely lost its meaning for me,” she says now. “I ended up in a new place, I didn’t know anyone, nobody liked me, and I didn’t understand why at all.”

Youngs says the relentless, relentless bullying that continued until the end of high school affected every aspect of her life. To somehow cope, she began to smoke and drink alcohol. nine0011

Now 46, it was only last year that she was able to overcome the effects of bullying at school.

“I felt like no one loves me, and I don’t love myself either,” she says.

Youngs’ experience pushes us to the painful truth. Children, despite their innocence and inexperience, can be incredibly cruel towards the victim they have chosen to bully.

Their actions are much less hindered by the social norms we learn as we grow up. Therefore, their actions can be terrifying in their cruelty and ruthlessness. nine0011

  • “Sometimes he could be dragged into the women’s restroom”: stories of bullying classmates
  • Children’s “hazing” and how to deal with it
  • Teenagers in social networks: unsafe life
  • Do you want to change your life for the better? Start talking about it differently

Skip the Podcast and continue reading.


What was that?

We quickly, simply and clearly explain what happened, why it’s important and what’s next. nine0011


The End of the Story Podcast

But what makes a child so that they bully their peers?

“For a very long time in the research literature, it was assumed that there is only one type of school bully: a very aggressive child who has problems with self-esteem, and the source of these problems is the home atmosphere, that is, either this child is treated cruelly at home or it doesn’t matter,” says Dorothy Espilage, professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. But now the picture is changing. nine0011

The academic definition of bullying (in English bullying ) is as follows: it is a form of aggression between individuals or groups with varying degrees of power (authority or physical abilities).

This definition does not seem to take into account the dire consequences for victims of bullying, nor the complex mix of reasons why people become bullyers. But the main element is still the difference in strength (influence, authority, popularity, and so on). nine0011

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Psychologists now identify several established types of bullies in school protect yourself,” Espilage says.

While domestic violence and sibling aggression are also risk factors, they are not the only things that make a child prone to bullying, she adds.

Children who grow up in an abusive home but go to a school where there is a healthy, supportive and supportive environment, and where there is a program to eradicate bullying and bullying, will not necessarily behave aggressively. nine0011

Researchers have painted a much more complex picture in recent years. In addition to openly aggressive and defiant children, there are those who resort to more sophisticated ways of bullying.

The latter often have certain social skills, are charismatic and even like teachers – in general, they are far from the stereotypical image of a silly and aggressive bully. And most importantly, these children have the flexibility to use their bullying methods when it suits them.

“Dominant in their group, they want to be leaders,” says Espilage. nine0011

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Research shows that bullying says more about the person who is being bullied than the person who is being bullied

Other research supports the idea that bullying says more about the person being bullied who scoffs than about his victims.

For example, Italian and Spanish schoolchildren took part in an experiment in which they were asked to think about a situation of bullying from the point of view of the bully. The scientists gave the children a questionnaire where they had to place their classmates in one of three categories – a bully, a victim, and an outside observer. nine0011

Those who fell into the first category (from the point of view of classmates) most often assessed the hypothetical bullying situation with statements describing how the incident affected them ( “I would feel great because other children would turn on me attention!” ), or statements showing a lack of empathy ( “I don’t feel guilty because I don’t think about it” and “I wouldn’t care because the victim doesn’t suffer” ). nine0011

New types of bullying have emerged in recent years. Previously, it was believed that aggression towards the victim, as a rule, is repeated. But in the world of the Internet, a single case of cyberbullying can lead to dire consequences for the victim.

“Does it need to be repeated more than once when your post has already been read by a million people? Espilage points out. Probably not.”

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Cyberbullying on social media is changing the way researchers look at bullying

In fact, cyberbullying has begun to merge with normal school bullying or bullying, some researchers say, as students come to class with phones connected to the Internet.

“My study found that many times those who bullied their peers in school continued to do so on social media,” said Callie Tzani-Pepelasi, professor of research psychology at the University of Huddersfield.

“They can sit at the same table in school, but they prefer to use social media to bully, because so much more people see it, and they get a false sense of fame.” nine0011

What should you do if you think your child is bullying other children?

The right first step is to understand motivation thoroughly. “If someone calls me and says that my child is doing this, I will ask my son:“ Okay, what are you trying to achieve? Why are you doing this?” Espilage says. “Maybe your child goes to a school where [other children] expect it.”

It is also worth taking a look at your behavior. Perhaps your own actions influence the actions of your child, he uses them as a role model. nine0011

One of the ways to combat bullying within the walls of the school is a system of camaraderie, which provides for the guardianship of junior high school students (younger students get a mentor from high school students who explains how to behave in order to avoid problems).

Image copyright, Getty Images

Image caption,

Those who have been bullied by their classmates in childhood experience the consequences of this for their psyche and self-esteem throughout their lives. “The partnership and guardianship system will not function without the persistence and consistency on the part of teachers and all school staff,” stresses Tzani-Pepelasi. nine0011

Espilage also believes that strong bonds are important, both between teachers and students. “We know from our research,” she says, “that there is much less bullying in schools where everyone is supportive of each other, where it is important that every student feels like an important part of the team.”

But often there is no such support. In 2014, Espilage and her colleagues published the results of a five-year study showing a disturbing association between bullying in schools and sexual harassment. nine0011

It turned out that in cases of harassment of younger students, homophobic insults are often present, which develop into sexual harassment in subsequent years of study.

But children involved in sexual harassment – both perpetrators and victims – often do not even realize how serious what has happened to them, because teachers do not try to intervene and prevent it.

“It’s a continuous process of aggression, from bullying to homophobic nicknames to sexual harassment to dating violence. And it’s happening in reality,” says Espilage. nine0011

  • Scientists: sex chats drive teenagers into depression
  • Canadian scientists: Internet trolls are like sadists

Will the need to bully disappear in a teenager with the end of school? Maybe, Espilage reflects, but it may turn out that such people will find themselves a new object of aggression.

“I would say, based on my experience, that some people go to work where this type of behavior brings them some success – in the police or as a lawyer.” nine0011

But the saddest thing is that the consequences for their victims may not disappear for years, leading to a deterioration in physical and mental health.

Ruby-Sam Youngs, who was bullied throughout her high school years, is now in training to become a disaster recovery specialist. She hopes to help others who have had a similar experience.

“Experiencing bullying means losing a sense of normality, losing trust, losing a sense of safety and security in life,” she says. nine0011

The girl who bullied her at school recently texted her on Facebook trying to apologize. When Youngz received the message, she got angry. “It didn’t make me feel any better. The pain she caused me didn’t go away,” says Youngs. “Maybe she got better, I don’t know.”

But then she realized that apologies, like bullying, are often the problem of the one who bullied and who then asks for forgiveness, and not just his victim.

“I sympathize with her because I can understand why she did what she did. Because she probably had big problems at home. But I can’t justify what she did.” nine0011

Read the original English version of this article at BBC Future .

Why children whine and how to deal with it.

Why children whine and how to deal with it.

The first reaction that whining causes is irritation. Like a fingernail on glass – and
in a “buzzy” voice on parental nerves. I want to growl: “Stop whining! Say already
is normal!”

Is there a way not to get annoyed and react differently? And what do you need to know for this? nine0172
First – you need to understand the reasons – what makes children whine? Today we look at
common causes of whining and options for how to neutralize it without getting annoyed.

Reason 1. Children need your help. When a child is stressed, hungry, thirsty, tired or
overworked, they may whine. Some of these needs require immediate
satisfaction – sleep, some water or milk, something to eat, rest, change a diaper
. In such cases, whining is intuitive: if you whine, you can get what you need
is faster than if silent. It’s just more efficient. There is even a study whose results
suggest that people are more attuned to whining or crying than to a neutral tone
of speech.

What to do? If the child is whining, ask him directly: “Are you tired? Do you want to eat? Can you have a drink?”
and calmly invite him to ask you. “Say: Mom, give me a drink, please!”

Reason 2. Children lack positive attention. If a child whines, then he may not be
lacks positive attention from parents and joint activities. Research by John
Gottman shows that children may require attention in order to strengthen their
emotional bond with their parents. Research also shows that children whine more when the atmosphere in the family is tense. If the mother produces tension, then the children quarrel and fight more than
, and if the father, then the children whine and cry more.

What to do? If children whine, check your stress level, emotional background in the family,
the amount of quality time spent with children and the general atmosphere in the family.

Reason 3. Children whine because they cannot express feelings (sadness or disappointment).

What to do? Remind yourself that whining can be a normal expression of human
feelings. If you still find it difficult to endure whining, use the simple breathing practice
: long inhale (5 seconds) and long exhale (5 seconds). Remember when you are
needed to cry or shout – perhaps this will help you better understand the child
and accept his emotions without being annoyed.

Reason 4. You have a sensitive child. Children differ in temperament: flexible, active
or impudent, or slow and cautious. Therefore, some whine more, others less.

What to do? Remind yourself that some children react more intensely to the stimulus
from birth, they have increased anxiety. You need to be aware that, they can be
teach not to whine, but it will be a long process.

Reason 5. Children will whine if it works.

What to do? Be consistent: you either give ice cream after dinner or you don’t. If you
stick to the “On, don’t whine” strategy, then this may solve the problem of whining here and
now, but will strengthen it in the long run.