Why Your Preschooler May Be Acting Out

As a mom of a 3 year-old, I’m constantly trying to figure out ways to redirect, enrich, and support my daughter in making good choices.

The other day, I was working from home and had 3 phone calls/interviews. As the day went on, she had an accident and was acting out.

I couldn’t understand why she was being this way until it hit me: I’ve been busy all day and had little time to pay attention to her.

Sometimes, it’s the obvious thing that’s right in front of our faces as parents that we can change in order to help give our children the chance to succeed and make good decisions.

Here are a few reasons why your little one might be acting like a monster for the day:

Fighting at Home

You don’t have to be yelling at each other for kids to pick up marital tension. The biting remarks. The distance. The sarcasm. The rolling eyes.

It’s all part of the household atmosphere. An argument can really undermine a child’s whole day. You think, “Oh they’re 3 or 2. or 4. What does he/she know?”

They pick up on the tension and it fuels their moods as much as it does our own.

Fight when the kids are gone or asleep. Easier said than done, I know.


If your child has cut out a nap or is getting to bed later than usual, chances are he or she will be a cranky pants. Little children can’t manage their fatigue with mental mindchecks and Starbucks. Fatigue=defeat and bad behavior.

Ease up and expect a wee bit less if you’ve got a sleepyhead on your hands.

Change of Schedule

A change in schedule or caretaker can be enough to put your angel into a devilish mood. Give him or her enough notice to “prepare” for the change, and cut the child some slack.

Not Feeling Well

If your child is unusually cranky, keep an eye and ear out for complaints or sudden fevers.

Unable to Express Him or Herself

If you find your child is acting out with other children, and he/she is already at full verbally capacity, your child might just be hitting a developmental period in which he/she doesn’t yet know how to socialize smoothly with other kids. Schedule playdates and instead of chatting with the other moms, watch the interactions with your child and model the appropriate behaviors for him or her.

Remember: you put time in teaching your kid the alphabet and colors.

Put the time in to teach your kid how to interact with other kids and make friendships. Many psychologists have often said that a child of average intelligence but strong emotional IQ and social skills will excel beyond a child that’s a genius. Teach your kid the social skills he or she needs to make friends and keep them.

Ring-A-Round the Rosie, Delayed Naptimes, Temper Tantrums, and Special Treats,


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