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Dr. Paige
Dr. Paige, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Psychologist; Parent
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Why do young children behave badly around their parents? My

Resolved Question:

Why do young children behave badly around their parents?
My 8 year old granddaughter loses focus and regresses when around her mother and father. From time to time she has mishaps during lessons, but when a parent is around these become complete meltdowns and she is 2 years old again.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Parenting
Expert:  Dr. Paige replied 4 years ago.
Hello. There could be several reasons for this, but I would say that the parents may allow the behavior and perhaps encourages it without even knowing. If the parents baby her on a regular, day to day basis, then this is how the child is taught to get a reaction out of the parents. Children of this age are very smart. If she gets the reaction she wants from the parents, then she will act a certain way. It is most likely for attention. Even if it is negative attention, she is getting her way. You didn't say how the parents reacted when she went into 2 year old mode, but I would bet that they reward the behavior by giving into her in some way. The child is controlling this situation. The parents are going to have to be firm with her and not treat her as a child, but more of an adult.
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