A lot of pressure lays on the shoulders of parents. Every little thing they do can have lasting effects on their children. This is particularly true for mothers who, perhaps, have the most important relationship with children during the first few years of their lives. But as kids age, they begin to act in ways that parents can't control no matter what they do. Sometimes, they can act in ways that tell us signs that they are headed for even greater trouble.
"Trouble" can be described in many ways. For some, it's simply not fulfilling their potential. But for others, it can be a host of more harmful activities and personality traits. Other parents have an easier time spotting these bad traits in the children of others. But they don't tend to be very good when it comes to their own kids. This is totally understandable as we have a number of defense mechanisms in place to stop us from acknowledging these truths. But that doesn't mean that we can't push them down and gain a little bit of insight.
This list will help parents gain more insight into the activities of children that may determine what kind of path they are on. These traits are determined by child psychologists and doctors, all of whom are included in the sources listed below. Without further ado, here are Moms Who Hug Too Tightly: 20 Signs She's Raising A Troublemaker.
20 They Feel Like They're Better
A child who has a sense of entitlement is an obvious troublemaker. After all, they tend to be the type of people who leave a sour mark on others. The unfortunate truth is, sometimes the Draco Malfoys of the world do get somewhere in life. Sometimes their sense of entitlement can push them to succeed. But that doesn't mean that they haven't negatively impacted the people around them. This is one way of defining a troublemaker.
We live in a world that tends to reward over-confidence. Size, gender, money, race, and ability tend to be valued over things like kindness, humility, humor, and altruism. But that doesn't mean that we can't attempt to change the world in some way through our children.
19 Their Grades Drop
If a child is displaying less interest in school and their grades are dropping below their average, it's a sure sign that something is amiss. Although there are many reasons why a child's grades could slip, one of them is behavioral issues. This is why it's important for parents to be aware of these kinds of academic changes as they can give greater insight into the minds of their kids.
The slipping of grades could have to do with negative distractions, discontentment, or depression. It's important for parents to get to the core of this as opposed to just punishing the behavior. This is because they could be contributing to the child's issues by doing so.
18 They Change Friend Groups Fast
There tends to be something wrong when a child alters there friend-group continuously. There are many reasons why they could be doing this, but not many of them are good. It could be because a child gravitates toward negative people, which indicates a more complex psychological complication. But it could also be because they are the ones causing conflict in their friend group. While it's true that childhood friends don't often stick around after childhood, they do tend to be fairly consistent unless there's a location change.
Relationships can be a tricky thing, especially for kids. Understanding what has gone wrong in a child's friend group can be a sure-fire way of helping parents curve their child's behavior.
17 They Feel Like Their Parents Are Too Hard On Them
Kids tend to display more behavioral problems if they believe that their parents are being too hard on them. Sometimes this can be a fact. Some parents put a lot of pressure on their kids to be something they may or not be. Additionally, they can also vent their own frustrations on them in a variety of ways. But other times, a child can simply believe that their parent is being mean to them even when they really aren't.
This is why positive displays of affection at home are important for a child's attitude and general manner. Parents who can't or don't show their kids affection, even while disciplining them, can often subconsciously encourage a child to gravitate toward troublesome actions.
16 They Have An Obsession With Popularity
Hierarchies are a natural part of life. Everything we do has some sort of hierarchy to it; essentially there are actions that we value over others on a daily basis. But kids who focus on social hierarchies are often the ones who cause the troubles within them. In short, if a child has an unhealthy relationship with being or acting popular, it could lead to a bunch of issues. Besides things like being mean to other kids, a love of popularity can stop them from being an individual.
Popularity is group mentality at it's finest. And groups, by their nature, tend to value conformity. While a sense of community is important, it should stifle their personal sense of wonder. Those who are forced to suppress this could be headed for trouble.
15 They Feel Like They Have a Poor Relationship With Their Parents
In a previous entry, we spoke about how kids who feel like their parents are hard on them often gravitate toward behavioral issues of some sort. But this entry is slightly different. A similar outcome seems to be the case for kids who believe that they don't have a great relationship with their parents. This means that their parents could be hard on them, but it could also mean that they are distant or simply don't care.
How many problematic kids have you seen who have distant parents? Probably more than one. This is because these kids tend to feel like they need to assert themselves in order to win the love of their parents, whether they're still around or not. This is why this trait is one of the best ways to spot a troublesome kid.
14 They Feel Like Their Siblings Are The Favorites
Siblings can cause a lot of issues for kids. This is both true of when they feel like their sibling is their parents' favorite, as well as when they themselves are the favorite. Essentially, the constant comparison can make them feel like they need to act in a way to assert themselves. And sometimes these actions are less than favorable.
If a child believes they are the favorite, they could act entitled and expect everything to be handed to them. If they feel like they are liked less than their brothers or sisters, they can attempt to take the attention away from them in ways that could get them into trouble. This is why understanding how a child feels about their place in the family is a such a great way of spotting a potential troublemaker.
13 They Gossip With Their Parents
Parents who gossip with their kids are essentially saying that it's okay to talk behind people's back. Gossiping is a learned behavior that tends to come from other kids at school. To some degree, it's natural. But we all know that too much gossiping can lead to the mean-boys and mean-girls of the world.
When a parent gossips with or around their child, they are "okaying" this behavior on a level that may be hard to alter later in life. This is because a parent is seen as a "God" in a kid's life. Their rules are law, and what they do and say is allowed. If you see that your friends are gossiping with their kids, it could be a sign that they are inadvertently raising a potential troublemaker.
12 They Feel Over-Scheduled
Kids thrive on structure. This is because they are learning so much for the first time. When they're babies, it can help them learn how to eat and sleep. When they get a bit older, it can help them learn how to balance their duties in the world, whether they are academic, athletic, or creative.
But this can also lead to them feeling over-scheduled and stressed. This is why the right amount of structure is important. As soon as they feel like they're being over-scheduled in some way, they can act out against it. The key is to make them feel comfortable with their responsibilities, as well as make sure that they're actually interested in what they're doing.
11 They're Bystanders When Others Are Hurt
Do we really want a world full of people who stand on the sidelines and watch as others get hurt? Sure, a lot of kids will act out when they are the target of bad behavior, but not nearly as many are likely to stand-up for the underdog. The fact that they don't only contribute to the negativity in the world and allows others to get away with their poor behavior.
Not only that but the fact that they don't do anything actually desensitizes them. This makes them more likely to act in this way themselves. That is why we should all be a little more aware of those who actively stand on the sidelines versus those who are already acting so badly.
10 They Feel Like They Have To Share
Sharing is a learned skill that takes a lot of time and maturity to fully develop. It also needs the right kind of encouragement. A child who has had a parent who forces them to share things like food and toys often grows the resent the skill. For instance, ripping a toy from a child's hand can have some long-lasting effects on a kid that may not be as positive as one may think.
Kids who have had parents who encourage it, rather than force it, generally have an easier time grasping the skill. When a child feels forced to share something, it can create a feeling of powerlessness in them. This usually takes a turn for the worse as child ages as they will be doing things that they believe will regain their power.
9 They Absorb All Of Their Parents' Problems
Feel bad for the kids of parents who constantly vent their own worries around or to them. This is because these kids are far more likely to develop behavioral issues. There are many reasons for this. First and foremost, these parents are adding an unnecessarily level of anxiety to their kid's day-to-day life. Children have worries of their own. After all, they're navigating a lot of topics for the very first time.
Additionally, kids who feel the heaviness of their parents' issues are forced to become little adults. Growing up too soon can have a ton of long-lasting effects on a child's personality. They need the time to be kids and work through things the way kids do.
8 They Know How To Get Their Parents To Say "Yes"
Parents who bend too easily tend to let their kids walk all over them. And kids who gain too much power too soon become the type who mismanage it. In Freudian terms, a child's Id is far more prevalent while they are younger. This is essentially their "I want, therefore I should have" personality. When kids have parents that give them everything they could possibly desire, things can get bad real fast. They can wreak havoc in the lives of their parents and everyone around them. Because their parents are so easily swayed, these kids can tend to feel like they can push anyone into giving them what they want. This will cause a boatload of issues moving forward.
7 They Are Inconsistent With Following Rules
Kids who are inconsistent about their rule following tend to be the ones who find ways of bending rules elsewhere. If their parents are willy-nilly about things like bedtimes, chores, and general attitudes, others (such as teachers and friends) can run into roadblocks when dealing with the child. This can cause the child to throw a temper-tantrum when they are forced to do something that they don't want to do. Essentially it's because they aren't used to the discipline at home.
Parents should be encouraged to enforce their rules consistently. Within the parameters that they set are more important freedoms. Within these boundaries is a stronger sense of independence that pushes children away from more aggressive and poor behaviors.
6 Their Friends Are Trouble
We are who we spend our most time with. This is one of the reasons why some parents are really concerned about who their kids spend the most time with. They know that a child's friends can have a large impact on the type of people they become. Even when a child's home base strongly encourages the right kind of behavior, another kid could dismantle it if they hold enough power over the child. Every kid wants to be liked, therefore, they can act in poor ways if it pleases another.
Children also are like sponges. This means if they hang around bad behavior, they have a larger chance of acting that way themselves. So, if you're concerned about your child's behavior, it may not be a bad thing to check out their friends.
5 They Have Sleeping Problems
The University of Michigan recently conducted a sleep study that took into account the experiences of 341 children. The study determined that children with sleep-related issues are more likely to display signs of troublemaking behavior, such as being mean to others. In contrast, those who got a better nights sleep were less likely to display such behaviors.
There are many reasons behind this. First and foremost, anyone who doesn't get enough sleep tends to be easily agitated and vent their unhappiness on others. So, if you see a child who is acting in a poor way, there's a chance that they have a lack of sleep. Every parent should be encouraged to take their kid to a doctor if they are experiencing sleep issues.
4 They're Withdrawing
Not every child that isn't a social butterfly is a problem-child. This is a common misconception. Some children are generally more introverted than others. This can mean that they're more prone to creativity or independence. But it can also mean that they have signs of depression or anxiety. Kids who actively withdraw are also more prone to becoming troublemakers. This is because they're actively repressing something that they're feeling. When something is buried deep within, it can have the tendency to break free in harmful ways. It can also cause them the type of turmoil that causes them to act out. While it can be difficult to determine whether childhood introversion is something to worry about or not, it's definitely something that should be paid attention to.
3 Their Fashion Is Changing Constantly
Every child is bound to experiment with new looks. After all, they're trying to figure out who they are. And whether you like it or not, fashion does play a big part in individuality and self. However, if a child makes sudden and drastic changes to their dress and image, it could be a sign of something more than experimentation. In fact, it could be a sign of a deep seeded, and potentially harmful, insecurity.
This can come forth in both revealing and overly baggy clothing, as well as looks that directly imitate others who may display troublesome behaviors. Clothing can also be a great way to hide things. Therefore, we should be aware of the emotional and physical reasons why a child makes these sudden changes.
2 They Have Drastic Mood Swings
While it's true that everyone occasionally experiences changes in their mood, drastic swings can be a sign of a troublemaker. Teenagers, in particular, are prone to ups and downs due to their hormones. But a parent can still determine when their mood swings are due to their hormones, or because of something else.
Younger kids with drastic swings are even more important to pay attention to. They could be suppressing something that could come out in more unexpected ways Parents need to remain empathetic and maintain stability with kids. This will help them learn to control their emotions at a young age. Adding drama to it only makes it worse. It also closes the door to communication, which is vital in helping them avoid becoming a troublemaker.
1 They're Unaware Of Clear Expectations
Child psychologists and behavior experts say that children who are unaware of their parents' expectations for them have a high chance of becoming a troublemaker. This is because kids are naturally inclined to please their parents. According to Parents.com, if they are completely aware of what's expected of them socially, academically, ethically, athletically, and creatively, they have a better chance of staying on target to meet those goals.
Of course, there are a couple of notes to be made on this topic. First of all, parents need to have clear expectations for their kids. Additionally, these expectations can't be outlandish or set the bar too high. They also need to take the child's interests into account. If they don't, kids may begin to resent their parents for not seeing them for who they are.