Children misbehave for a myriad of different reasons. Sometimes they are testing the boundaries to see what they can get away with, and for these times, consistently reminding them of the limits is a helpful thing to do. But often parents try to use the same behavioural techniques on behaviours that are really not misbehaviours – rather, they're the result of big feelings.
When a child is experiencing a strong emotion, they often feel overwhelmed and out of control. This is not a time to try to enforce compliance – this needs a different approach. It needs Emotion Coaching.
Emotion coaching is a way of responding to the strong emotions that lie beneath the child’s challenging behaviour. When parents respond to the child’s emotions, instead of their behaviours, the child feels connected, understood and safe. Their emotions dissipate, and they become more able to find solutions to the things that were upsetting them. This does not mean parents should ignore the misbehaviour, it means they address the misbehaviour only after they have helped the child manage their challenging emotions.