Lesson 7: Understanding the Misbehaving Child

Dr. Glasser says that children unconsciously make behavioral choices in an attempt to fulfill three primary human needs. The basic needs of every child include the need to be loved and to belong, the need for life to be meaningful and fun, and the need to have power and independence.  Misbehavior takes place when children do not have their needs met.

Dr. Dreikurs says that children want to behave. They want the approval of their parents and their teachers. Children’s misbehavior is the result of their trying to fulfill their unmet needs in inappropriate ways. Every inappropriate behavior can be connected to a specific unmet need.

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