Why Do Many Kids Misbehave Around Their Mothers?

As a mother, you pour your love and efforts into everything for your child. However, it’s puzzling when kids suddenly act out around their mothers. Why do they transform into little terrors, screaming and shouting the moment they lay eyes on you, yet behave perfectly normal in your absence?

It’s a head-scratcher, especially when they manage to be polite and well-behaved in front of strangers. You might find yourself wondering, “What did I do to deserve such behaviour?” If you’re one of those moms blaming yourself, don’t.

What are the reasons that many kids misbehave around their mothers?

Leading family counsellor Shivani Misri Sadhoo says, there are various factors, for this but some of the prominent ones are:

1. Safe Zone

A child might throw a tantrum when denied a treat at home, feeling confident that their mom’s love is unwavering. They feel safe and secure when their mom is with them. The unconditional love and understanding from their mothers create a safe space for them to express their emotions, even negative ones. In contrast, children may feel less secure with strangers and behave more reservedly, as they haven’t established the same level of trust.

2. Seek Attention

Kids sometimes misbehave around their mothers as a quirky strategy for attention. Imagine little John, who transforms into a mini-daredevil when his mom is engrossed in work. Climbing furniture and artistic crayon masterpieces became his toolkit.

It’s not mischief; it’s John’s secret language, shouting, “Hey, notice me!” Mothers are typically the primary caregivers, and children may resort to misbehaviour as a way to ensure they receive attention from their busy mothers.

3. Social Exhaustion

Children, like adults, act differently around strangers, often feeling reserved and on their best behaviour. For kids, maintaining good behaviour can be mentally taxing with undeveloped brains. Once home, they release pent-up energy, expressing themselves freely. Temper tantrums reserved for Mom become a therapeutic outlet, a way for them to unwind and let the day’s frustrations unravel in the safety of familiar surroundings.

4. Setting Limits

Ever wonder why kids seem to be experts at pushing buttons, especially when their moms are around? Well, it turns out, it’s all part of their natural development. Kids test boundaries with their mothers because it’s a safe space to explore limits. Without boundaries, they might feel uneasy, so they push until they find a reassuring limit. It’s not mischief; it’s a sign of a healthy, evolving relationship.

5. Stress

Kids often copy how their moms feel. So, if a mom is really tired and has lots to do, the child might act up to show they’re also feeling upset. For example, if a mom looks stressed after a busy day, the child might misbehave or throw tantrums to let out their feelings. They want someone to notice and understand what they’re going through in the family.

6. Trust

Kids sometimes act up around their moms because they feel safe and loved at home. In public, they try hard to fit in and worry about what others think. At home, they can relax and let out their feelings because they know their mom understands.

This shows how much they trust their mom’s love, making home a place where they can be themselves. For example, a child might feel okay showing emotions or making mistakes at home because they know their mom will always love them.

Final Thoughts

Now that you understand why your child might act up more around you, it’s because they feel safe with you, want your attention, get tired from being good all day, are testing limits, and might copy your stress. Most importantly, they trust your love and understanding at home.

Knowing this helps you be more understanding and appreciate your importance as a supportive and trusted parent in your life. Yet it is also important to teach a child the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour for their well-being.