How To Avoid Behaviour Labeling and Connect With Your Child Without Biases

A perspective shift that makes all the difference.

Adelina Vasile

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Image by Dika Rukmana from Pixabay

Children are misunderstood.

The way they act is a noise. What’s happening in their little heads and bodies is a cry for help.

When we focus on their noise, we miss what they’re trying to signal.

Yet the social pressure on parents is huge.

Everyone opines on socially acceptable behavior. Even the childless chime in on how “uneducated” a tot is if they see something they don’t like.

People label children. Parents do the same, under the burning pressure of having to make them behave.

It feels like a disease turning into an epidemic. It’s unfair.

If you want to be fair to your child, you need a perspective shift.

Why’s Behavior Labeling Wrong?

Behavior labeling wires parents to shape how their child acts while disregarding the reasons behind the act.

Imagine your little one is having a hard time and lashes out at the family’s dog.

When you label them, you might tell yourself “What’s wrong with this kid?” and tell them “Hey, don’t be a bad boy/girl, we don’t hit the dog!

When you don’t label them, you might tell yourself: “Oh, something’s happening, they can’t keep it together anymore.” and tell them “I see you’re struggling and you hurt the dog. I won’t let you do that. Come, let’s go to a place where I can help you calm down.

Labels make you consider negative behavior as the whole picture. In reality, it’s a motif on a bigger canvas.

When we label, we think we know why they’re misbehaving. It’s because they’re “mean”, “spoiled”, “liars”, etc.

We distance and disconnect from our children. We worry and become angry, in a hurry to react, because who wants their children to be like that?

Labeling behaviors is wrong because it:

  1. Damages the relationship
  2. Deforms your views and attitudes
  3. Shifts you into a negative mental state

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Adelina Vasile

Mother, educator, journalist, copywriter. I write about the things I need to learn myself.