At times children can be so well-behaved and then seemingly in an instant they turn into little monsters that are capable of making the mildest of parents hastily and regrettably yell “Shut Up!” As parents we want to be a good role model and exhibit behavior that reflects our values however, there are times where it is very challenging.
As children age they are going to test their limits and learn to push your buttons. Much of their behavior comes from what they are exposed to on television and in school. The best defense to the undesirable behaviors is to parent by example. Even though you may not think they are watching, they are and they are learning how to manage life by doing the things you do as parents.
Before putting the blame on your children for the way they misbehave it is important to consider the things that are going on in their lives. Children aren’t fully capable of managing their emotions so sometimes they act out when they feel angry, fear, anxiety and rage. Make sure to make time to talk to your children and assure them they can safely come to you if they need anything. Other considerations; are you spending enough quality time with them? Is your child spoiled and acting out when he doesn’t get his own way? Is your child acting the way you do in the home (tough question but you need to consider it)?
It can be tough dealing with outbursts and defiance however, there are some things you can do to break the cycle and bring back your little angel. To begin with don’t let your emotions get the best of you when your child is constantly questioning or what appears to be “back talking” you. Frustrating as it is you need to keep a calm head and try to get to the root of the matter. Many times children act out when they are hungry or tired. Is this one of those times? Madalyn, age 7, often goes into auto-complaint mode around 5:30 in the evening while dinner is being made. It is hard to deal with her and make dinner at the same time. Often dinner is late because of the need to deal with her poor behavior. A key to getting through this situation is not giving her the cookie she wants but a healthy snack instead. Then get her involved with the dinner making process by setting the table or making the salad.
Here are some other techniques you can try when dealing with your child’s behavior:
- Grounding them for a period of time from things they enjoy such as playing computer games or watching TV.
- Time outs – have a certain spot in the home where your child goes for time out.
- Behavior charts or chore charts are great tools. As your child completes their chores and exhibits appropriate behavior, they are rewarded with a sticker or magnet on the chart. These stickers or magnets can then be used for allowances or special outings. When your child exhibits undesirable behavior, you remove a sticker or magnet.
Author – Jason Deines is a writer, blogger and family man who believes in helping others, building strong families, working hard and having fun. He is also the author and publisher of Parenting-by-Example.com.
Earnest Parenting: help for parents who want angels.
Image courtesy of rafa2010 via Creative Commons license, some rights reserved.