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Why Kids Misbehave the Most When Their Moms Are Around

As primary caregivers, moms are often blessed with charming displays of behavior like whining, shrieking, attempted slapping, refusal of food, and cataclysmic tantrums over virtually nothing.

You may have noticed that children behave angelically with other people, while going absolutely feral when their mom is nearby. Nope, you’re not imagining things. Kids actually tend to act up when they are around their moms. The secret is: it’s not a failure on the mom’s side — it’s a compliment.

Bright Side decided to take a dive into our kids’ psyche and try to figure out why moms are subjected to all these trials the most.

1. They feel safe around their mom.

Moms are the safety bubble in a child’s life. Kids act up more in front of their parents, and especially their moms because they feel comfortable, safe, and supported around them. Nobody likes to show their worst self in front of strangers. You likely reserve the breakdowns only for your loved ones and people close to you. The same goes for your kids.

When kids decide to misbehave, they’re also deciding to show their vulnerability. So next time you find yourself trying to figure out why your child behaves for everyone but you, the answer is: because you have the privilege of being their mother and are doing a great job.

2. “Good behavior” takes a toll on them.

Any social situation that involves strangers is rather uncomfortable for a child. We all act differently in the presence of new people. We’re usually more reserved and self-contained and feel the need to behave at our best in front of people we don’t know intimately. This is also true for children.

But it takes a lot for kids’ undeveloped brains to control their impulses most of the time. It takes energy to “be good” and follow the rules, especially for young children. So when they get home, they let it all out. Children can also have a bad day, and the temper tantrums that they reserve for mom’s eyes only are their way of unwinding.

3. They are seeking attention.

Another reason children act up is that they feel there may be some competition for mom’s attention — with siblings, other adults, pets, or even mom’s work. Children don’t like you not being attentive to them, and acting out is their trump card. After all, it often does get them attention — even if they get in trouble. This happens mostly around moms because that is whose attention kids crave the most.

4. They are checking boundaries.

Testing boundaries is a natural thing to do, especially for children who are really connected to their moms. Children know that their relationship with their mother is safe, so they feel that they’re able to goof around, disobey, and push the limits. It doesn’t mean they try to aggravate her on purpose — it means the kid is developing normally and she has a good relationship with them.

If there are no boundaries, the kids will try and push to see how far they can go. This often happens when moms try to be a buddy instead of a parent. Deep down, children feel uncomfortable and unsafe when there are no boundaries at all and will push until they find one.

5. They want to achieve something.

In some cases, the tantrum doesn’t mean the child is acting naturally in front of you — instead, it means they’re trying to manipulate you by acting up. You can distinguish these manipulations from a real meltdown because they always have a rational, logical purpose behind them. Encouraging this behavior is only going to reassure them that it works and will make things harder for you.

Have you noticed that your kids get more naughty around mom? How do you deal with them when they act up?

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