Why Children Behave the Way They Do: A Series of Articles To Better Educate All Parents By Kerby T. Alvy Ph.D.

Article 1: Introduction to Series by Kerby T. Alvy, Ph.D.

This series of 6 articles (1, 2A, 2B, 3A, 3B and 3C) is intended to provide parents with a basic understanding of why their children act as they do. By having this understanding they are in a more knowledgeable position to help their children behave in ways that are consistent with their family values.

The series is based on the results of numerous scientific research studies from the fields of child development and learning theory.


These results, and the principles of learning that they reflect, apply to all parents and all children. They apply to parents and children from different cultural, ethnic and social backgrounds. They apply to the behavior of children of any age, from infancy through adolescence.

Thus, the ideas and information contained in these 6 articles are relevant to everyone who is involved in the awesome task of raising children, and to those committed and humanitarian people who choose to work with and help children and parents.

To parents themselves, these ideas and principles are likely to be new, assuming they have not been fortunate enough to have taken child development courses. To those who work with children and parents, who are likely to already have taken child development courses, these articles will probably serve as a summary review.

The articles are based on the powerful and simple notion that children learn a great deal through two very important and interrelated processes, Learning-Through-Modeling-the-Behavior-of-Other-People (Articles 2A and 2B) and Learning-Through-The-Consequences-of-Their-Own-Behavior (Articles 3A, 3B and 3C). Each article elaborates on these processes to provide in total a fairly comprehensive appreciation of what every parent should know.

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