It is important to deal with behaviour that is causing you or your child concern. There could be various things that affect your child’s behaviour such as life changes, needing attention, the way you handled behaviour and the way you are handling things at home. Here our some tips to handle your child’s behaviour if it is causing concern:
1. Do what feels right for your family
Your actions must be right for your child, yourself and the family, as anything you do that you don’t believe in, wont work due to children noticing when you don’t believe in what you are saying.
2. It is important you don’t give up
Once you have made a decision, stick to do it. It will take time but it is important to never give up. By gaining support from your partner, a friend, another parent or your health visitor will help you stay on track. It’s good to have someone to talk to about what you’re doing.
3. Be consistent
Children need consistency. If you react to your child’s behaviour in one way one day and a different way the next, it’s confusing for them. It’s also important that everyone close to your child deals with their behaviour in the same way. This way they know what type of behaviour is bad and will be punished for, and vice versa for good behaviour.
4. Try not to overreact
Whilst this can be difficult, it is vital. Your anger and frustration will build up when your child does something annoying time after time, but you must control this and try to stay calm. Find other ways to cope with your frustration, like talking to your parents and your support network.
5. Talk to your child
Children don’t have to be able to talk to understand. It helps if they understand why you want them to do something. For example, explain why you want them to hold your hand while crossing the road. Once your child can talk, encourage them to explain why they’re angry or upset. Thiswill help them feel less frustrated.
6. Be positive about the good things
When a child’s behaviour is difficult, the things they do well can be overlooked. Ensure this does not happen! If your child does something well, or they are well behaviour, tell your child you’re pleased about something they’ve done. You can let your child know when you’re pleased by giving them attention, a hug or a smile. If you ignore the good things they have done, this will lessen the amount they do it, as they will believe it will never get noticed and their bad behaviour will take over.
7. Offer rewards
Rewarding your child is the best way to show them they have behaved well. For example, praise them or give them their favourite food for tea. If your child behaves well, tell them how pleased you are. Be specific and explain what they did well, and always give the reward after they have performed what they were asked not- NOT before.
8. Avoid smacking
Smacking only has a short-term effect- it may stop a child doing what they’re doing at that moment, but it doesn’t have a lasting positive effect.
Children learn by their parents behaviour so, if you hit your child, you’re telling them that hitting is okay. Children who are treated aggressively by their parents are more likely to be aggressive themselves. It’s better to set a good example instead.