The way that you react to your child’s behavior has a profound effect on how they act in the future. They look up to you, not only to tell them how to behave but also to teach them by example. Reacting too strongly (or not strongly enough) to misbehavior can lead to repeated issues which can last indefinitely. Consider the following advice to correct your child’s behavior and remain a positive influence at the same time. Here are a few positive ways to react when your child misbehaves.
Keep Your Cool
The most important thing to keep in mind when your child misbehaves is to remain calm. Losing your cool while trying to improve your child’s behavior doesn’t set a positive example of how to act in stressful situations.
Always deal with these situations as they come up before you have time to get frustrated. If you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed with your child, let him (or her) know that this behavior is affecting you. Chances are, he’ll probably want to make you feel better.
Don’t Pay Attention to Misbehavior
Children often act out because they are looking for attention, whether it’s positive or not. If yelling or throwing a tantrum proves to be a good way to get your attention, they will undoubtedly keep doing it whenever they see fit.
Of course, you can’t ignore misbehavior completely; you need to make sure your child stays safe. But, try to avoid showing extra attention to him because of negative actions. As another example, if your child throws a tantrum because he wants a toy at the store, try telling him that you won’t talk about it until he calms down.
Take Notice of Good Behavior
Children react very positively to encouragement and approval. Make sure that you praise your children for good habits and behavior so that they feel like they’ve done a good job. Not only that – praise also makes your child feel more capable, which is good for self-esteem. If your child gets no encouragement or attention from positive actions, he may turn to misbehavior in order to feel noticed.
Usually, when parents clearly and firmly demand that their child do something, that child generally knows that there aren’t any other options. However, this isn’t always the case. Use a calm tone of voice when speaking with your child. Let him know that you mean what you say.
If your child tries to talk you into changing your mind, calmly tell him that it isn’t happening and he needs to do as told. Of course, being firm doesn’t mean yelling or being mean to your children. Just don’t give in to them, and eventually, they won’t try to sway you at every opportunity.
Learn to Accept Mistakes
Children make mistakes in how they behave, just like adults sometimes do. It’s important to remember that kids aren’t tiny grown-ups and lack much of the knowledge and experience that many adults have picked up over the years.
Misbehavior may not be desirable, but it is a perfectly normal part of being a kid. By teaching your child how to behave better, rather than simply scolding them for bad behavior, you help to make sure they understand what they can do to behave better from that point forward.
As parents, it’s our job to teach our children how to navigate the world around them. Reacting negatively to misbehavior can affect your kids during their childhood and later when they become parents themselves. Stay firm, patient and positive and your kids will develop positive habits too.