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Behaviors At Home

Behaviors Related To Escape from Pain

Of all the primary needs, this may be the most important one to consider when you’re trying to figure out why your child is misbehaving. People will go to great extremes to escape pain, whether it’s physical pain or emotional pain. In fact, they usually don’t consider the consequences of their behavior when acting badly to escape pain. They are so intent on escaping the pain, they don’t consider what other people think of their behavior or how it will affect others. We are all wired to escape pain. It’s the choices we make to cope with the pain in our lives that can determine whether the results are seen by others as good or as misbehavior. Drug abuse, gangs, suicides, drinking, mental illness, and other social problems are, in large part, responses to pain of various kinds. We watch the drunk attempting to walk down the street and we remark, “He (or she) is feeling no pain.” You usually only have to watch TV commercials for a few minutes at night to notice all the “easy” ways we use to escape pain. A child may feel very “dumb” in a particular subject in school, for example, and this may cause him or her a great deal of pain. The child’s choice of misbehavior may well be a means of covering the pain of not achieving. For instance, a boy may be able to prevent others from finding out he is “dumb” in social studies by disrupting the class, especially if he thinks that the teacher won’t call on him if she is distracted by disciplining him. Children, like everyone else, experience a great deal of physical or mental pain. The pain may result from the loss of a parent through death or divorce, or from poor health, financial problems in the family, difficulty in relationships with family or friends, or trouble in school. Any failure that causes pain—even if it seems trivial to an adult—may be the major contributor to misbehavior in the school or classroom. Remember that the child may know the behavior is wrong. But he or she may still misbehave in an attempt to reduce the pain. Reducing the pain becomes a primary motivator—and nothing anybody says seems to make a difference. Many discipline problems can be traced back to the primary need to escape pain. Could your child’s behavior problems be an attempt to escape from some type of pain in his or her life? Take every opportunity you can to talk with your child about what’s going on at home and at school. Don’t hesitate to contact the school if you suspect your child’s pain stems from something going on there. Remember, the school wants your child to do well, too.
The Attention Demander

Other Behaviors (with a paid membership)

  • The Agitator
  • The Alibier
  • The Angry
  • The Animal
  • The Apathetic
  • The Apple Polisher
  • The Arrogant
  • The Blabbermouth
  • The Boss
  • The Bully
  • The Cheater
  • The Chiseler
  • The Class Clown
  • The Clique
  • The Complainer
  • The Crier (Who Claims Foul)
  • The Crier (Who Sheds Tears)
  • The Defier
  • The Destroyer
  • The Disengaged
  • The Disorganized
  • The Disrespectful
  • The Disrupter
  • The Distracter
  • The Do-Nothing
  • The Dreamer
  • The Exaggerator
  • The Excuse Maker
  • The Exploder
  • The Failer
  • The Fighter
  • The Forgetter
  • The Foulmouth
  • The Fun Seeker
  • The Goer
  • The Goldbrick
  • The Grade Gubber
  • The Griper
  • The Habitual Absentee
  • The Hater
  • The Hider
  • The Hyperactive
  • "I Can't"
  • "I Don't Care"
  • "I Won't Do It"
  • The "Idiot" Syndrome
  • The Immature
  • The Indifferent
  • The Intellectual Show-Off
  • The Irresponsible
  • The Jealous
  • The Last Worder
  • The Late Arriver
  • The Lazy
  • The Lewd
  • The Liar
  • The Loner
  • The Loudmouth
  • The Lover
  • The Malcontent
  • The Manipulator
  • The Name Caller
  • The Negative Group
  • The Noisemaker
  • The Noncompleter with Grand Plans
  • The Nonparticipator
  • "Not My Fault"
  • The Objector
  • The Overly Aggressive
  • The Pest
  • The Petty Rules Breaker
  • The Pouter
  • The Procrastinator
  • The Rabble Rouser
  • The Rebel
  • The Repeater
  • The Rude
  • Satisfied with Second Place
  • The Scrapper
  • The Selfish
  • The Shadow
  • The Shy
  • The Sidetracker
  • The Skeptic
  • The Skipper
  • The Sleeper
  • The Smart Aleck
  • The Smartmouth
  • The Sneak
  • The Snob
  • The Snotty
  • The Spoiled
  • The Stewer
  • Talks Back
  • The Tardy
  • The Teaser
  • The Test Challenger
  • The Thief
  • The Troublemaker
  • The Truant
  • The Underachiever
  • The Unprepared
  • The Victim
  • The Vindictive
  • The Wanderer
  • The Whiner