Few Basic Rules of Handling Children’s Behaviour
Handling children is a tricky job. Dealing with children’s behaviour is one of the most challenging aspects of parenting. Their behaviour can delight, stun, confuse, frustrate or even anger you. When your child behaves in challenging ways, it’s good to have a range of behaviour management options. We all generally find it very perplexing many a times not knowing what to do and even if we know what to do we don’t know “how to do it”. It is therefore very important to make certain rules that will help in knowing “what to do” as well as “how to do”.
Understanding the causes of your child’s behaviour is the first step in meeting the challenge. So before you choose behaviour management options, it’s a good to check a few things
First, if your child’s behaviour changes suddenly, check whether your child is having any health issues and is he getting enough sleep. Sometimes challenging behaviour is the first sign that children are not well. If so, consult the doctor.
Next, consider whether there have been any changes in your family life that might affect your child’s behaviour. For example, it’s normal to see challenging behaviour after the birth of a new baby, starting school or death in the family.
Then it must be understood that different kinds of challenging behaviour are normal at different stages of development. For example, tantrums are very common in toddlers and preschoolers, because at this age children have big feelings but not enough words to express them.
Finding the underlying reasons and emotions behind your child’s behaviour doesn’t mean that you should ignore challenging behaviour, but it does help you to prepare on how to respond. It also helps you to decide whether you need an extra help with your child’s behaviour.
Behaviour management strategies work best when you’re giving time and effort to building a positive atmosphere at home and strengthening family relationships with affection and proper communication. Children who play and learn in an environment which promotes positive social relationships are less likely to display inappropriate behaviours. Remember that a positive and constructive approach with appropriate social and physical environment is necessary to inculcate proper behaviour in your child. This means giving your child attention when he behaves well, rather than just punishing him when he does not behave properly.
Some questions that may be helpful for responding to children’s behaviour are:
- What are the possible causes for the behaviour?
- Can the behaviour be addressed by the child developing some new skills?
- Is the behaviour appropriate for the child’s age or developmental level?
- What is the purpose of the behaviour? e.g. What is the child trying to communicate?
- Is the environment contributing to the behaviour?
- What are my expectations about appropriate behaviour? Are they suitable in the circumstances? Are my interactions contributing to the behaviour?
- Are there triggers for the child’s behaviour? What happened before the behaviour occurred? Are there times or situations when the behaviour is more likely to occur?
- Is there a change in the child’s life that is affecting her or his behaviour?
- Do I need to seek assistance from professionals or seek external support?
- Are all family members aware of the approach to behaviour guidance and consistent in using the approach?
Following points may assist in developing behaviour guidance strategies:
- Observe children to identify triggers for challenging behaviours. Pay attention to the child’s developmental level and any issues that may be impacting on the behaviour
- Support children by providing acceptable alternative behaviours when challenging behaviour occurs
- Identify children’s strengths and build on them
Here are a few basic rules in brief that may help parents handle their child’s behaviour:
PRAISE & REWARD
And positive reinforcement are important when it comes to teaching social skills. Notice the good behavior. Have a reward program for good behavior. Praise your child when he or she shows the behaviors you like. Respond with physical affection like cuddles, hugs or a high five. Have a variety of reward plans. Don’t use toys as a treat on a regular basis.
Your child for who he is. If he loves music, let him listen to it. Get involved with him find out which type of music he likes, who is his favourite singer. He must get a signal that you respect his likes and opinions and he can trust you.
Time schedule for various activities including both indoor and outdoor play. Include variation in play activities and have special treats or games up your sleeve for days when it is not possible to go out. Try to get outdoor as much as possible to let children blow off steam.
Frequently change and make new rules. Be clear, consistent and positive always. Set clear rules for your child. Set clear rules for your child. Tell your child what he should do, not just what he shouldn’t do. Be clear about what will happen if your child does not follow the rules. Follow through and make sure your partner backs you up. Constantly reinforce important rules.
Clear about rules and what you expect in terms of behavior. Set limits on TV watching & mobile phone games. Teach respect for possessions by their proper upkeep. Teach your child how to play games and how to play with toys. Don’t yield to whining.
Time out(also known as social exclusion) for unacceptable behavior like fighting and aggression. It is an effective form of behavioral modification that involves temporarily separating a child from an environment where unacceptable behavior has occurred. The goal is to remove the child from an enriched, enjoyable environment, and therefore lead to functional punishment for the offending behavior. Never curse or scold him in front of outsiders. It reduces his self-esteem & self-confidence.
Love & affection but too much attention or pampering is never good. So do not over protect or over indulge. Be firm and consistence in your discipline. This helps to develop useful habits & attitude in the child.
And tell your child how you expect him to behave when it comes to “grey areas”. Always talk over reason behind fears and give plenty of assurance.
Buy your child everything that he wants in the toy shop. Improvised toys are just as much fun. Practice toy rotation so that everything is not out at once. Keep an eye on what your children are watching on TV, Mobile phones and PC/Laptop.
Independence in your child. For example, help your child learn daily care skills, such as dressing, feeding him-self, using the bathroom, and grooming. Teach children how to share and take turns. Use involvement technique whenever you are busy at home. Avoid constant snooping of children when they play.
Company of your children. Get involved in their play and let them direct it. Cuddle up with them and read them a story frequently.