Parenting is one of the most challenging, yet beautiful and meaningful journey. It is an important life tasks filled with ups and downs. One task in this includes teaching your child to behave. It is a job that takes time and patience, but it helps to learn effective and healthy discipline strategies.
WHY CHILDREN MISBEHAVE?
Many reasons can cause your child to have temper tantrums, emotional outbursts, and general or unexpected behavior. It can stem from a child trying to take control over his life, such as what he wears, eats or does. It could be children’s way of testing their boundaries. It could be due to emotional reasons, like not being able to cope with or describe their feeling. Or it could simply be biological reasons, like being hungry or tired.
Whatever the cause, bad behavior is something parents need to address immediately and effectively by taking appropriate measures. As parents, it’s our job to teach our kids how to express their wishes and opinions respectfully and constructively.
WHY IT IS IMPORTANT TO TALK TO YOUR KIDS ABOUT BAD BEHAVIOR?
We parents talk to kids about bad behavior all the time. Unfortunately, these conversations sound like, “stop crying” or “why did you throw that toy”, etc, etc. These statements rarely cause change and sometimes make the behavior worse. This happened to me too. My little girl has grown up to be a good child, but there are times when she behaves differently and I used to shout at her to stop whining and sometimes hit her. This made the behavior worse! I talked to the other moms and got to know a few tips through there experiences, that really helped me change my girl’s temper tantrums. Here are few tips, which could help you too.
CALM DOWN YOURSELF FIRST
Your internal alarm may be blaring, telling you that your child’s behavior needs to be addressed immediately. Instead, take a few deep breaths and allow your brain to return to a safe and more calm zone.
Rather than seeing bad behavior as something that needs to be punished, it may be helpful to see it as a cry for help. In this situation, your child does not have the resources or ability to make a better choice. Positive, respectful conversations about the bad behavior can empower and encourage your child to not show bad behavior.
ESTABLISH EXPECTED BEHAVIOR
It is important to be clear with your child about acceptable ways to express themselves. Be specific, so your child knows that yelling or using words like “yeah right”, “give me a break”, “fine”, “whatever” is not appropriate. The same goes for rude behavior like lip-smacking, eye-rolling or giving you a death stare. It may take a few reminders for young kids to learn what you expect, so give them a few chances to correct their bad behavior. In the meantime, stop them when it happens.
MONITOR WHAT YOUR CHILD SEES
Many TV shows and movies portray children talking back to adults and often displaying mockery and a sassy attitude. While that may be good for comedy, your child needs to know that imitating that type of behavior is neither funny nor acceptable in real life. One way to see what your kids are exposed to is to keep an eye on what they watch, so you can talk about what they’re seeing on screen.
PRAISE YOUR CHILD
Everyone likes to feel appreciated and kids are no different. When they communicate properly, reward their behavior with a kiss or hug, a thank you or a compliment. Kids who receive positive reinforcement are often less likely to show bad behavior. Praising your child for good behavior is nice, but you need to tell them that simply asking or demanding stuffs respectfully doesn’t necessarily mean they will get what they want.
These are a few ways to politely talk to your child about bad behavior. Whatever method you practice, just do it consistently so that your child understands and accepts your method and what you are exactly trying to communicate and show the best behavior eventually.
DISCLAIMER: Please note that these are personal experiences and not professional advice.