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Why do my kids do that? Let's flip your perspective!

I know how it feels to get overwhelmed or triggered as a parent. Some days are easier than others, we can have more patience for things our kiddos do and say on some days. On those days when it isn’t easy, your patience is wearing thin and your kiddo does one of these five things it can be really hard to keep your response in check. 


A trigger is a trigger, we all have them and some are ingrained in us based on how we were raised and the messages our parents passed down to us. 


Let’s see if we can flip our perspective!


  • Stamping feet - picture it, you are asking your kiddo to go put on their socks and shoes to get out the door, they flat out refuse, and then stamp their feet in anger. Yes their refusal isn’t the best response, there most likely is a reason behind it if we look past the behavior, but what if I told you stamping their feet is actually helping them regulate?!? Seems strange right - but let’s flip the perspective because it’s true! You may have heard me talk about the Proprioception System. This system is located in our muscles and joints. It provides us with a sense of body awareness, detects/controls force and pressure, and provides the brain with information about our body movement & body position. It has an important regulatory role in sensory processing as proprioceptive input can assist in controlling responses to sensory stimuli. So, stomping their feet helps their body know where it is in space and helps send a signal to the brain that could calm the fight or flight response.

  • Next time try this - they start stamping their feet and you join in! March, stamp, sing, count. Get input into their body and turn on their logical brain at the same time, it could just change the next step!

  • Not standing still - picture it, you are standing in line at a store and your kiddo is moving and grooving, spinning, dancing and not standing still. What if I told you this could be a sign that movement soothes them or helps them regulate?!? Seems strange right - but let’s flip the perspective because it’s true! You may have heard me talk about the Vestibular System. This system provides the sense of balance and information about body position, relationship with gravity through our head movement, as well as acceleration and direction of whole body or entire body movement.  It is located in the inner ear and is very important in organizing all sensory information. So, rocking or moving is using this system to calm or soothe. It will kick in and work to regulate all sensory information their brain and body is taking in.

  • Next time try this - they start moving all around in place or space that you would rather they be still. Ask yourself if what they are doing is safe or unsafe. If it’s unsafe by all means ask them to stop or change what they are doing, but if it is safe, question for a moment if what they are doing is really “wrong”. Could you say out loud so others hear you “Looks like your body  has a lot of energy and needs to move. Let’s be careful of people around us and maybe jump, dance or spin in place now.”  This could just change the next step for your kiddo!

  • Running away - picture it, you are asking your kiddo to stop or change a behavior and they run away from the conversation or who they were playing with. This could seem disrespectful and unsafe but what if I told you this could be a sign that their instincts have kicked in and they need a minute to reset?! Seems strange right - but let’s flip the perspective because it’s true! You may have heard me talk about the Fight/Flight response. With this response the amygdala or reptilian brain reacts to a perceived threat.  Adrenaline is released and cortisol is released for continued alertness.  Breathing increases, heart races, and muscles tense. Their flight becomes instinctual to get away from the perceived threat. So, their fleeing is most likely something they can’t control “in the moment” and as long as they are being safe in their flee it may be best to let it happen.

  • Next time try this - pay attention to what is occurring right before they flee and see if you can see a pattern. Perhaps shift the environment or what is occurring to help reduce the perceived threat next time. When the flight occurs pay attention to if they flee to the same place each time. If they do, provide them tools and strategies to do in this space to help reset their body and mind.  Depending on their age you could also ask them at a time when they are regulated what you could do to help them the next time they run off like that. Making it a moment of connection rather than something that they are doing “wrong” could just change the next step for your kiddo!

  • Not sitting still at the dinner table - picture it, you are trying to have a family dinner and your kiddo keeps moving all around, not eating, not sitting still and seems 100% distracted. Depending on how you were raised and what expectations were set for the dinner table you could feel this behavior is unacceptable but what if I told you this could be a sign that their body doesn’t feel safe and supported in their seat and that is why they are fidgety?! Seems strange right - but let’s flip the perspective because it’s true! You may have heard me talk about the importance of building core strength and this is just one example of why. Poor core strength can affect posture, ability to take a deep breath, sitting, gross and fine motor skills, attention span, stamina, and balance. When a child’s body has to work extra hard to balance or be still, it takes away from the child’s ability to focus, concentrate, listen, learn and interact with others. If they are sitting in an adult chair at an adult table you also could be setting them up to fidget because their body isn’t supported by the chair. So, their fidget is a sign they need support or assistance not a sign of not wanting to be at the dinner table!

  • Next time try this - look at how your kiddo’s body looks in the chair. Are their feet touching something or dangling? Is their back supported by the chair or not even touching it? Do they have to lift their elbow up high to get food off their plate? If they are not supported then they have to use their core and if their core is weak they will fidget! Figure out a way to support their body in the chair and also find activities they can do that help to build their core strength. This will set your kiddo up for success at the dinner table and at school!

  • Has little patience- picture it, you are trying to get a few more items crossed off your to do list and your kiddo asks for help with their Legos. You respond by asking them to wait a minute and the waiting becomes hard for them. Depending on everything else going on in that scenario this could be a huge trigger for you but  what if I told you waiting or being patient is a skill that needs to be taught and built in order for kiddos to do it successfully?! Seems strange right - but let’s flip the perspective because it’s true! You may have heard me talk about Executive Functioning Skills and depending on how kiddo processes information utilizing these skills they simply may not be able to wait. So, their lack of patience may not be them disrespecting you or manipulating a situation, it may be they are showing you skills that need to be built up!

  • Next time try this - explain to them why you need them to wait a minute and give them a task or direct their play until you can turn your focus to their ask. Often kiddos need a little help with filling the waiting time so making it a game by saying something like “I need to finish the dishes before I can help you because my hands are wet. Would you like to sing a song with me while you wait?” This might just change the tone and next step for you kiddo!


Does all of this have your wheels turning? I totally understand if it does! I have learned so much about systems and senses during my 95-hour Children’s Yoga & Mindfulness Certification process and additional Primitive Reflex training.  


My perspective on so many actions and behaviors of kiddos has completely flipped and it all helped me design my tailored support program. In this program we partner together for 6 weeks to create new positive patterns for your child and your family. 


Flipping the perspective in so many ways!! Interested in learning more? Click on the button below.


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