A mom is doing dishes in the kitchen, her son is in the living room playing with his cars. She hears him start to throw the cars across the floor. When mom comes into the room her son starts throwing more cars.

Why did he continue throwing more cars?

He’s learned that bad behaviour gets mom’s attention and keeps her in the room.

If he plays nicely, he’s left alone. He throws something across the room, now I get mom’s attention.

Getting attention is a phrase I just used, but I believe it means a negative thing to most parents. 

Instead of thinking of it in a negative way, reframe it as seeking attachment.

Your child loves you, he wants to do well, but some struggle much more than others. Parents will admit that they avoid their child that behaves badly. This child can feel it. They don’t know how to seek attachment in positive ways, so they do what they know, act out. 

In the morning they may spill their milk  or refuse to eat. That way you’ll sit down with them. They won’t say “Mom can’t you do that another time? Please come and have breakfast with me, I wish I had more time with you.”  Instead they act out and then mom comes and sits down.

Think about what message your child is trying to send you with their behaviour. 

Remember they want to do well, but they need help. They are not trying to make you miserable. They need your support, love and patience.