8 TIPS TO HANDLE BAD BEHAVIOUR IN CHILDREN

“Why do kids have to be so annoying?”

If you have asked yourself that question, you are not alone. Misbehaving children can make parenting stressful. We have put together a few tips and tricks that can help you handle bad or disruptive behaviour in children.

  1. Don’t react. When you react or respond to your child’s bad behaviour, you are encouraging her.
  2. Stay positive. When you consider your child as a problem, you cannot find effective ways to deal with his behaviour. Focus on rectifying the behaviour.
  3. Be consistent in your reaction or responses to your child’s behaviour. More importantly, be consistent in the consequences to drive the point home. Give the same responses to their conduct, and eventually, they will get it.
  4. That said, it is okay to change the rules sometimes, to change old habits that may have gotten out of hand. For example, cutting down TV time, video game time or other activities for the child’s benefit is okay.
  5. Be a role model. Change your bad behaviour to change your kids’ behaviour. Children of all ages learn by observation and imitate you because they assume that their parents know the best.
  6. Disciplining is necessary, but is effective only when it is valid. You need to think well before determining the consequences for your children’s misbehaviour.
  7. Relax. Don’t worry too much about the usual yelling, arguments, and defiance. It does not hurt to chill out once in a while and take a break from disciplining.
  8. Use child behaviour chart or reward charts to track your child’s behaviour patterns. You can create one for a specific behaviour or multiple behaviours. You can also have a good manners chart that has details like “said thank you and please”, “helped mom with chores”, “waited for my turn to speak” etc.

Activities For Children With Behaviour Problems
A highly effective way to deal with behaviour problems in children, especially toddlers is through activities. There are several activities you can try and here are a few that we think will be most helpful to you.

  1. Exercise or physical activities are perhaps the best means to blow steam off. When your child gets excited or angry, getting them to play outside can help relieve them of the energy. If a child’s energy is not properly released, they tend to release it in the ways they know – tantrums, destructive behaviour, acting out, etc.
  2. Role-playing is an excellent activity that can teach your kids to control impulses. One of the major factors affecting kids behaviour is the lack of self-control.
  3. Ask your child to read aloud a book or what they are writing. You can try this at bedtime when they are still full of energy and need an activity to calm down and relax.
  4. Storytelling is yet another activity that engages their imagination and lets them use their energy in a positive way. This activity also helps you get an insight into their frame of mind.
  5. Play good behaviour games and read child behaviour books that can teach kids about good deeds such as kindness, sharing, waiting and saying nice things to each other. When they learn that the good things can be rewarding, they won’t try the bad ones.

Random misbehaviour is the right of a child. Do not try to clamp down on it with your disciplinary ways. However, if you see consistent and severe behaviour problems in your child, then you need to take appropriate action. And if you think that the situation is out of your hands, do not hesitate to approach a child behavior specialist, therapist or a counselor.

Remember, before you label your child as bad, try understanding the child’s behaviour to determine the root cause. With the right approach and professional help behavioural issues in children can be fixed. After all, you want your child to grow into a loving, kind, intelligent and reasonable person, right?

Photo Courtesy: Great Schools

Do you have any tricks up your sleeve for handling child behaviour issues? Tell us about it here.

Published by Centre for Young Africans

The Centre for Young Africans (CFYA) is built to help create and grow the average African children and youth to achieve their aspirations for change and sustainable growth.

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