By MJ Corr
It seems to be a problem nowadays; a lot of parents don’t know how to stop their children’s behavior problems. It seems that how their own parents dealt with these issues (or didn’t) isn’t working on their kids.
Where does the bad behavior come from?
There are a number of possible reasons. Some of them are:
- It can come from watching other kids in the playground. These kids can be hitting other children, or talking back to their parents, or even swearing. When our children don’t see any consequences for these actions they assume they can do it themselves.
- The kids may be modeling their parents. Dad swears, Mom screams, or both get violent. Guess what, they see that this must be okay. They certainly don’t understand it when their parents chastise them for it.
- The parents may be too strict or too lenient. If a parent has lots of rules with tough consequences that are earned for bad behavior then a child may rebel. On the other hand if there are no rules or the rules aren’t enforced the child will behave the way they want to.
So can anything be done about it?
Here are some suggestions to stop the behavior problems:
- Teach your children what is right from what is wrong. Have a discussion with them about what other children are doing. Tell them why some of these things are wrong. Let them know that acting this way won’t be tolerated.
- If parents indulge in bad behavior then they must learn to control it. A child will copy the things their parents do. Just because they are told these things are wrong they won’t stop the bad behavior as long as their parents keep doing it. And it isn’t enough just to stop it; parents must explain to their children why they aren’t doing these things anymore otherwise their children won’t understand.
- Rules are meant to train children to become good adults. They are not meant to prevent them from making mistakes. If your child doesn’t have room to grow, relax some of the rules. Does your child do things that are dangerous? Have a rule. Does your child swear, hit, and do bad things? Then have rules for these but be clear that acting in this way is inappropriate. And there are things that can be overlooked. Just because you might think that it is disgusting for a child to roll around on the grass and get his jeans stained doesn’t necessarily make it worthy of punishment.
- Similarly if there are no rules how does a child know that smacking a neighbor’s kid is wrong if they haven’t been taught? Or perhaps they know all of your rules but you never give them consequences for breaking them. They are going to learn that the rules are meaningless. Make sure there are appropriate ones and they always receive consequences when the rules are broken.
Try to strike a good balance, enough rules to teach the lessons of life but not so many that your child feels constricted and wants to rebel.
I’ve had rules, lots of them! Don’t swear at your Mom. Don’t hit other kids. No talking back. And yes, don’t get grass stains on your pants. I also had a lot of consequences. Some of them were inappropriate like “no more playground if you throw a toy in the house”. A better one would be to have him lose the toy for a specific period of time. Why? Because the consequence is related to the action. He threw the toy then it is gone for now. Consequences need to be immediate. Losing the playground privilege some time in the future isn’t much of a punishment.
But not only did I have a lot of rules I didn’t always follow through with the consequences. It got so my kid would just shrug his shoulders when I mentioned them. He knew it wouldn’t happen. But then I found http://StopTheHitting.info which showed me the best ways to stop the behavior problems. Both my son and I have been learning together. Read more about these issues and discover more ways to change your kid’s behavior.
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