Surely many parents will identify with this situation: when their children go to school, to their grandparents’ house or to some extracurricular class, they all comment on how pleasant it is to have you visiting or as a student. But when they get home, their behavior does not match those comments.
Why do our children misbehave when they are at home, but do it wonderfully outside of it? We explain why and why it should not be a worrying situation or one that makes you feel guilty, but quite the opposite.
A personal anecdote
I remember several years ago, before I became a mother, I was visiting a friend who had two children, the youngest of whom was preschool age. Everyone in the family said he was “tremendous” because he did a lot of mischief, ” it drives me crazy “, my friend commented. And the truth is that yes, he was very naughty, like any child, unlike his older sister, who was more serious and reserved.
The surprise came one day, in which my friend went to pick him up from school and while she was waiting for him to leave, the teacher told her that she was very happy to have him, that he was a model student and that I wish I had more children like him . My friend was speechless and thought “if they saw him at home they would not think the same.”
When he told me what had happened, I could only laugh and think the same thing: they should see him at home. Back then it just seemed like something very curious and an anecdote to remember, but after becoming a mother and learning about emotional education, I was able to understand it .
About misbehaving or being good …
” He was behaving well until you arrived, ” is a phrase that some mothers receive, including me. But what is “misbehaving”? Sometimes we say phrases by imitation or by habit, when their meaning or what we want to say is not exactly that. And I would like to clarify something:
Just as there are no “good” or “bad” or “difficult” children, there are no misbehaved or well behaved children. There are only children who are on the path of multiple learning and who go at their own pace. Children with different abilities and capacities, who evolve in different ways.
We really cannot and should not pigeonhole them and say that they behave “badly” or behave “well”, because although it is true that there are certain parameters or rules that must be respected, at the end of the day they are simply children who are learning about the world and about themselves . And they need us.
It is not that your children behave worse when they are with you
Having clarified the previous point, we return to the title of this writing. Why does my son appear to be misbehaving at home, when he is so calm and wonderful outside of it? There are a couple of reasons.
The first is because children, when they are away from home, like at school, understand that there are certain social codes and rules to follow . This naturally makes them behave better in the eyes of others, as in the case you mentioned of the child that the teacher claimed was a model student.
But the second reason is the one that (I think) is stronger and more important: the house is your safe place . And it is not because children behave worse with their mothers because they have a special radar when they are around, as claimed by a supposed study from years ago that later turned out to be false.
It is because within their homes they are in an environment of trust , accompanied by the people who love them and with whom they feel more free to experiment, try, be themselves and, above all, feel and let their emotions flow.
Something similar happens with us as adults. With whom are we going to vent and cry or complain when something goes wrong or we are upset? It’s definitely not something we would easily do with a stranger. We are going to turn to the people we love and who love us. To our family, our friends.
For a child, those people are mom and dad. It is normal and desirable that with their referring people they have things typical of children, such as tantrums or exploring their emotions, which are still very new and unknown to them and they need our support to learn to manage them.
In short: their home is that place where more “them” can be, and that is a very good thing, because it means that they have a space where they allow them to learn to know each other, in which they feel totally and completely comfortable and free. to let your emotions flow, test your skills and experiment with the ideas that go through your mind. Because there is no safer place for him than with you. You’re doing it right.
Photos | iStock
In Babies and more | Where you see a disaster, your child sees a new ability or ability, A photograph of a father and daughter during a tantrum that reminds us of how important our reaction is