On Child Misbehavior

I don’t think that children misbehave. Rather, I think they behave exactly as expected when either their needs are not being met, or when they are trying to meet their own needs as best they can at the moment and in their present environment. Think about it. When a child is coloring on the wall, he’s meeting his need for creative expression, but without the proper tools, he uses what’s available to him. Or how about, when a child is crying and sobbing with her arms raised toward mom or dad, her need to be coddled is not being met. These children aren’t misbehaving, contrary to popular opinion. Instead, they have needs and they’re trying to meet them. I wonder, could the same be said about adult misbehavior? And that’s today’s two cents.


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Founder and editor of Everything-Voluntary.com and UnschoolingDads.com, Skyler is a husband and unschooling father of three beautiful children. His writings include the column series “One Voluntaryist’s Perspective” and “One Improved Unit,” and blog series “Two Cents“. Skyler also wrote the books No Hitting! and Toward a Free Society, and edited the books Everything Voluntary and Unschooling Dads. You can hear Skyler chatting away on his podcasts, Everything Voluntary and Thinking & Doing.