We all crave to have kids who are well behaved, disciplined and obedient. But in all practicality, this can get a tad difficult to achieve (unless you are amongst those few, fortunate parents who are blessed☺). Managing challenging behaviour and dealing with behavioural issues can prove to be extremely stressful for parents.
Please understand parents, that behavioural problems exist due to a problem in the learning pattern and not because there is a problem with our children. Let us focus on a few ways to deal with child behaviour problems:
Children exhibit difficult behaviour primarily as a need for attention or to get what they want. For e.g. if my son starts to scream and shout, I immediately focus upon him and ask him to be quiet…..mission accomplished☺. I LISTEN and REACT to him. So the idea here is we need to listen, not react or respond immediately. If you realise that your kid is throwing a tantrum because he wants something that you do not want to give him, it is best to IGNORE. Later, when he has calmed down, talk to him and understand the problem.
Include exercise and physical activity in your child’s daily routine. Enrol him in activities and sports like tennis, football and anything that interests him. It helps him to vent his negative emotions or stress and become calmer.
Please be calm and patient when confronted with a challenging behaviour. Try to be assertive, not emotional. Use a low pitch voice, no shouting.
If your child refuses to understand why a particular behaviour is inappropriate, ask him to sleep over it and discuss it the next day. Normally, your child will feel calmer and more open to discussion the next day.
Encourage your child to make friends. Loneliness leads to behavioural issues.
Allow him to make certain decisions for himself, make him feel important and confident. Acknowledge and reward the acceptable decisions.
If your child acts unreasonable and difficult, temporarily take away all sources of entertainment, for e.g. TV, ipad and so on. I do that with my son and allow him access to everything, only when he calms down and communicates with me.
Empathise with your child when he exhibits ‘bad’ behaviour. Allow him to deal with his emotions; be with him.
Be attentive to cues, like constant fidgeting, moving the legs and so on. This implies that your child is bothered about something. The moment you see them, try and distract your child, early intervention is the best.
Another important fact, please do not nag your child. Yes mums, we all do that, don’t we? “Can you wear your shoes fast” , ‘Drink the milk…don’t sniff it”… ☺
Look after yourself and monitor your behaviour and responses to mundane situations. Your child learns from you, his responses to tricky situations; almost everything. Also, be compassionate toward yourself.
Have fun with your kids, laugh and play. A happy child is what we need to aspire for, the rest falls into place ☺