Is it ADHD or something else?

21: Your Child Isn’t Acting Like This on Purpose

When children are inattentive, unfocused, and unmotivated, parents sometimes wonder whether or not their child is acting that way on purpose. But that’s not usually the case.

When children are inattentive, unfocused, and unmotivated, parents sometimes wonder whether or not their child is acting that way on purpose. But that’s not usually the case.

There are many reasons behind a child’s behavior. Sometimes, their behavioral changes are caused by external or internal stressors whereas some don’t know how to cope with their feelings.

Hence, it’s necessary to enlighten parents and point out what's happening with their child and why they’re acting differently in relation to their mental health.

When kids get stuck in behaviors, they are stuck.

Oftentimes, parents tend to think that their kids are lazy, unmotivated or they’re not listening to everything their parents are saying on purpose. But in reality, there are a lot of reasons why kids act the way they do. 

In fact, parents get shocked when they find out that their kid isn't acting like this on purpose. They just don't know another way to act. So when kids get stuck in behaviors, they're stuck. 

There are just so many things that our kids struggle with. It may be from academic pressure or personal problems. That’s why one or two kids in America have a physical or mental health problem. The common issues kids struggle with are learning issues, attention issues, mood issues, anxiety, and depression.

How are kids supposed to know what to do when they’re stuck?

Kids don’t know how to cope with their feelings so it’s also a big question as to how they’re supposed to know what to do when they get stuck. Undoubtedly, we will be there to guide them along the way but we shouldn’t entirely let them rely on us.

When we keep pointing out the things that they’re not doing, they tend to fall back on the same behaviors. The more we do something, the more we get reinforced to do it. It’s just how behaviors are dealt with. 

To each his or her own and it’s the same for kids. All kids are different. Even kids that are “easy to parent” can sometimes be difficult to handle. Of course, it’s expected that there are going to be times when there are challenges along the way.

Kids will face challenges at different times but no kid is really acting the way they are acting on purpose. We also have to understand our kids’ situations and where their behaviors might be coming from.

The failure to launch a young adult

Most of the time, parents have a hard time launching their kids, particularly stuck kids, as young adults. However, there’s no doubt that your kid doesn’t want to be there forever but they put the blinders on. 

Kids are terrified of whatever it is that they’re going to face so they have no idea what else to do and family communication gets stuck. It’s a lot easier for adults to just disassociate themselves and just drink booze when they don’t want to deal with whatever’s going on and they don’t want to adopt healthy lifestyles.

As parents, it’s expected to feel irritated and worried about our choices, especially in decisions concerning our kids. We’re not sure whether we’re doing the right thing or not for them. 

We’ve all been in that worry train and that’s perfectly normal. Although, don’t dwell too much on that. At some point, you’ll have to get off that worry train. We want nothing but the best for our kids and for now, the best thing for our kids is to let them get on their feet and discover the real world by themselves. We won’t entirely leave them but we’ll be at the sidelines for them.

When our brain is understimulated, we have a hard time focusing.

Because kids struggle with dealing with their own feelings and the challenges they face, it’s understandable that they also struggle with regulation of the brain.

From our previous episodes, we’ve emphasized that when the brain is understimulated, we're going to have a hard time focusing and we're going to be slower in processing information.

When your kid’s brain is understimulated, it’s most likely that he or she is gonna have a harder time listening and processing everything. Alternatively, when we have an overstimulated brain, we see anxiety and moodiness.

When you’re irritated by a behavior, you have to think about the reason why that is happening or what’s causing it. You have to think about the antecedents. What happened before? It may not be immediate. It may be the day before.

Ultimately, it’s about not understanding what the end result looks like.

When our kids don’t do the things we want them to do, may it be in school or at home, we think they aren't motivated enough. Indeed, some kids struggle in the area of their brain with motivation. 

But ultimately, it's about not understanding what the end result looks like. They have no idea what they need to do. There are no steps for them to follow. And so, we should invest our time on helping them, supporting their behavior and shaping these behaviors.

When we start to feel that our child is doing something on purpose, what are we going to do?

The first thing to do when you start to feel that your child is acting like that on purpose is to pull back. You shouldn’t address your child’s behavior unless it is a safety issue. More often than not, these kids always feel shameful about their behaviors.

Remember to pull back and try to look at the behavior analytically. If you’re too irritated or frustrated, do it at a later time. But don’t try to tell your kid the things he or she must do because they don’t understand you.

But the first presumption we should have is that they’re not doing it on purpose. And then, take this as an opportunity to rethink your child’s behavior and rethink solutions for change. 

Parenting is so hard and there are so many ups and downs. So make sure to stay tuned for more podcast episodes to help you deal with many of these issues you’re concerned about.

Is It ADHD Or Something Else?

If your child is struggling in ways that make you wonder if they have ADHD, I've developed a quiz to tell you if your child has ADHD, or if it's something else that should be on your radar. It's FREE to take the quiz, and you can get your results immediately.

➡️ “Is it ADHD or something else?” Take the quiz. 

➡️ Join our FREE Natural Parenting Community to receive science-backed resources for your child and family. Join here.

➡️ Get help from Dr. Roseann and her team. Apply here. 

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