Why Your Kids Are "Acting Out"

We've all been there. Lived through it. The fussy baby days to the tantrum toddler days and into the revolting teenagers (I'm not there yet - but it is inevitable). So what is "acting out"? What are some reasons for acting out and when should you get outside help? I will be covering all of this in this blog today!./

What is "Acting Out"?

Professionals say that acting out is when your child's behavior is considered bad or anti-social. It is generally caused by suppressed or denied feelings and can be destructive to themselves or the people around them. This can come in the form of meltdowns, lash back, temper tantrums and other disruptive behavior. Often we think these behaviors mean that our kid is just a "bad kid". The thing is a lot of times there is a deeper routed meaning for this behavior and a lot of times we can find that and nurture it.

Reasons for Acting Out and When to Seek Help

There are many things that could be causing your child to act out but I am covering some of the most common reasons and when it may be time for outside intervening.

Home Environment

This could be anything from a something like moving and changing your surroundings to the obvious abusive household. Let's break down a few scenarios in which .

If your kid feels neglected or ignored, they may act out to get attention. Negative attention is better than no attention, right? No. We may not even realize we aren't giving our children the attention they desire until they start acting out. The best way to combat this area of misbehavior is to start introducing positive attention strategies into your parenting.

Now if a power struggle is introduced into the equation, that is best left ignored. That is when you argue with your child back and forth. The conversation is going nowhere and arguing does not help the situation.

Kids that go to school and act chaotic but are quiet at home are more often than not children in toxic home environments. This behavior comes from them feeling suppressed at home so they let it all out in public away from family where it feels safe. This may not necessarily be what is happening in your home but it is important to keep an eye out for those signs, whether its in your home or in another.

Growth Development

Whether your child has a lifelong disability that hasn't been discovered or if they just aren't hitting their growth marks, this can be extremely frustrating for your child. Some of these growth cues you can look out for could be sensory, speech or even some learning disabilities.


Imagine having a sensory processing disorder and experiencing the world in really uncomfortable sensory overloads, you'd be pretty cranky too. An example of this could be children with autism. Autism is a spectrum and can look very different depending on the child but in some cases the child in question has sensory experiences which can make things they see or hear actually painful!


Maybe your child is frustrated because they are unable to communicate to you what they are feeling. If your child struggles with communication I know of a place that does Pediatric Feeding in Atlanta! This is a form of treatment that focuses on your child's response to movement, range, pressure, and strength of oral movement to assess abilities and deficits, so they do not have to follow verbal instruction in order to demonstrate accurate levels of functioning and growth. It's definitely something to look into if you believe your child is having a hard time communicating. You can find out more here: Talk About Therapy - Speech Therapy

Learning Disabilities

Undiagnosed or untreated learning disabilities can really put a lot of stress on your child which would result in misconduct. For example, think of a child that may have dyslexia and they are falling behind in school with no inclination as to why. Something that important must be addressed sooner ranther than later to avoid further consequences on your child's development.

Mental Health

As a society, we are starting to accept that our mental health is just as important as our physical health. Our mind is part of our body and should be valued as such. Untreated disorders can sometimes surface in the form of bad behavior when really it can be treated! Educate yourself about disorders that generally express themselves in misconduct such as ADHD, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and Anxiety. If you see some cues that they are experiencing these disorders, then it may be time to seek professional help.

There are many potential reasons your child could be acting out but in all honesty sometimes kids can be irrational. If you don't notice a pattern or any of the cues I've talked about above, then you may just have a moody baby.

Ashton Forzley

Your avid reading, writing, thrill-seeking local enthusiast. When I'm not at home being a mother or styling, catch me on the trails or in a tavern. I'm the force behind a Forz of Nature.

Let the posts
come to you.

Thanks for submitting!

  • Instagram
  • Pinterest
  • Facebook
  • Amazon