Encouraging Better Behaviour

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It’s as simple as, you adjusting the way you react to your child’s behaviour

Temper tantrums in the mall, drawing on your neighbour’s wall with a permanent marker or biting other children at school – at times, your child’s behaviour makes you question if you’re doing a good job as a parent. Disciplining a child with behaviour problems can leave anyone scratching their head. Yet, in most cases, it’s as simple as the adult in their lives adjusting the way he or she reacts, to the child’s behaviour. Encourage positive behaviour, while increasing their self-confidence, self-esteem, and respect for you with these simple strategies:

Really listen to them

Your child is just learning to cope with big emotions and the tensions of life. So, this can manifest in less than desirable behaviour. Paying heed to what your child is going through makes them feel heard, appreciated and reassured. But, because they are young, they need to see you actively listening even nodding. And then keep repeating to them what you think the matter may be. Think of it as teaching them to use their own words to express their difficult situation. ‘It sounds like you’re sad you lost your pen’, or ‘Are you scared to read out loud in class today?’

 Acknowledge good behaviour

But if you’ve been listening and the tantrums persist, perhaps it’s because you’re giving more attention to the wrong things. Children tend to keep doing naughty things because that seems to get them the attention they crave. To counteract this, give your child positive feedback when you see them behaving in a way you appreciate. Once this becomes routine but your child continues to have hissy fits, perhaps you need to get to the root cause of the misbehaviour. It could be the result of an underlying issue that you need to address.

Keep your word

A child learns to respect and trust their parents when they keep their promises. Good or bad. Following through on your words means your child knows you won’t disappoint them when something nice is on the agenda. They also realise that there isn’t any room for negotiation when they know they need to face the consequences of their actions. Kids understand yes and no, don’t give them wiggle room with a ‘maybe’.

Give them more responsibility

You don’t always have to be the bad guy. Sometimes, over preaching what they can and can’t do makes them tune out anyway. Let consequences take the baton and help guide your child to learn that all-important lesson. As they get older, the best way of doing this is by slowly making them more responsibility for their behaviour. It can be as simple as letting them oversee packing their own break-time snacks. If they forget to do it, the natural consequence will follow. And we’re sure they won’t forget the next time. In the case of dangerous or unacceptable behaviour, you may have to provide consequences, but ensure your child understands them beforehand.

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