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Being a single parent in North Carolina is no easy feat. This is especially true when your child is acting out, and it’s important to get to the root of the issue if you hope to stop bad behavior. If you feel as though you’re at your wit’s end, Very Well Family offers the reasons why kids commonly misbehave, as well as what you can do about the matter.

Kids like to test parental limits

The more a child gets away with, the more he or she will test limits. Setting clear ground rules is crucial in this case, as is following through with any possible punishments. While you may be tempted to go easy on your child in terms of discipline after a divorce, this will only make bad behaviors more common. Instead, keep punishments consistent when warranted.

They’re looking for attention

For some kids, any attention at all is good attention. This is especially true after a divorce takes place, as many kids feel left behind. When your child acts out, refrain from having a strong emotional response, which is likely what he or she is looking for. Instead, praise positive behavior to encourage it to continue and use your disciplinary tactics when dealing with negative behaviors.

They’re having trouble managing emotions

Strong emotions are common after a divorce. If a child doesn’t have a way to manage these emotions he or she may resort to bad behaviors, which can include fighting, shoplifting, or talking back. If your child continually experiences behavioral issues after your marriage ends, consider arranging a counseling session. From there a counselor can introduce helpful coping mechanisms for dealing with negative emotions.