6 ways to manage junior's bad behaviour

Prevent your kid from behaving badly with these tips!

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“GO AWAY! I don’t want to do this!”, says your defiant offspring. Raising rebellious children is probably one of the biggest challenges faced by parents these days.

Vyda S Chai, a clinical psychologist from Think Psychological Services, notes that the way children develop and behave are affected by a range of factors. This ranges their socio-economic background, culture, as well as access to early childhood programmes. Sometimes, their behaviour can also be attributed to certain inherent learning difficulties.

While the environment and biology influence children’s social development and emotions, it’s also important to remember that they learn and develop at different rates, not necessarily in sequence.

Once good patterns of behaviours are learnt, they will be easy to maintain and manage. Once bad patterns are established, they will be difficult to modify or change.

So how can you manage your kiddo’s behaviour? Try these tips:

1. Start early
It is important to start early and discuss appropriate child-rearing methods with all caregivers. Parents, grandparents and nannies have differing opinions on how to raise a child at times, and it can get confusing for your child if every caregiver uses a different method to raise him.

Research shows that a child’s early years are the most important in inculcating good behaviour. Chai points out that once good patterns of behaviours are learnt, they will be easy to maintain and manage. Once bad patterns are established, they will be difficult to modify or change.

2. Set rules and consequences
Set precise rules rather than generic ones. Make sure that you state all the rules clearly, and your kid understands them. Explain what the consequences are if he breaks the rules, as this will encourage him to think before acting. Make sure to follow through with the consequence if he does break the rules, so that he will know that you mean business.

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3. Spend time with them
Spending quality time with junior on a regular basis is very important for maintaining a good relationship. Playing together and engaging in conversation makes him feel that he is loved by you. This will make it easier for you to manage his behaviour when he gets older.

4. Be their role model
You will be your child’s first role model. As he is still unable to differentiate between what is right and wrong, your peewee will observe your reactions and behaviour, then imitate them. So, you should always lead by example. Staying calm, composed and respectful in all situations will teach your kiddo to do the same as well.

5. Consistency
Consistency from all caregivers is the key to successful parenting. An inconsistent approach will only confuse your child about the rules and expectations. “Inconsistency is one of the main causes of a caregiver’s inability to control their child’s behaviour,” states Chai.

Consistency across all care-givers is the key to successful parenting.

6. Give them choices
Giving your little one choices will help him in make decisions. Work together with your spouse to reinforce appropriate behaviour in your child. Once again, consistency is key in increasing favourable outcomes in a child’s ability to learn and behave well. So, if different adults use different approaches, this may confuse them, making it more difficult to control challenging behaviour, Chai explains.

Photos: iStock

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