Kids acting naughty? Relax, they are not 'just 'acting out. Stealing cookies, scribbling on the walls, getting the toothpaste out, taking a toy apart to see how it works, or pulling things out of a shelf, may all be ways of self discovery and exploration. While you might want to dismiss it off in exasperation, there are more silver linings that escape your sleep deprived eyes-
They are creative - Kids who want to scribble, paint, play with food, may just be finding creative expression. They do not let boundaries constrain them. You just might have the greatest generation next inventors and artists among these children.
They have a strong will and conviction - While a child refusing to eat their vegetables might not seem as a leader, it might help to remember that those who believe in their ideas are the ones who might change the world one day. Strong willed people who, when raised with the right values, will not crumble at the first sign of authority are indeed the ones who make the world a better place. As for the vegetables, they will eat them eventually, once they are convinced about their goodness.
They are brave – Kids who test the boundaries know that they might get into trouble for doing so. Stealing cookies happens when everyone is out of the kitchen. There is always danger of being caught. Yet it does not deter them. In a world full of bullies, they will find a way to stand up to them and refuse to get cowed down.
They are scientists - Stretching our limits is what landed us on the moon and Mars. We all learn through exploration and experimentation. These kids are testing limits and seeing where it leads. And who is to say it will not lead to a distant planet eventually.
They are innovators – Finding the right chair to stand on to get the cookies is not easy. It requires judgment, spatial skills, and ingenuity. So let them take the cookie and just make sure they do not fall down or hurt themselves.
They are creating memories - Last but not the least, your kids are creating memories that you will cherish and laugh over several years later.
So just relax and enjoy these naughty moments. As long as they are not in danger of harming themselves or others, let them be, let them explore and discover the world and their place in it. Happy exploring!