How to Help your Child with Difficult Behavior
Children are amazing. They are inquisitive, learn quickly, and are constantly changing throughout each stage of their development. However, their behavior can be challenging and difficult at times. It can be hard to know how to deal with this. Use these three simple tips to help your child to overcome their difficult behavior and make your lives a lot easier.
1. Learn the Warning Signs
A lot of challenging behavior can be the result of your child feeling strongly about a thing and not knowing how to express it. Every feeling that your child experiences is valid and should never be downplayed or discounted.
Help your child manage their strong emotions by speaking to them and actually listening to what they have to say. Use reassuring words and never threaten your child. Encourage them to speak about how they feel.
2. Reinforce Self-Control
Self-control is an important skill that will help a child throughout their life. A lot of difficult behavior can be traced back to a lack of self-control. Teach your child how to control their emotions and learn to deal constructively with how they feel.
Model the correct way to deal with strong emotions. Children learn best by seeing examples of how they should act. Many parents believe that self-control cannot be taught, but that is not supported by evidence.
3. Do Not Rely on “Negative Reinforcement”
While negative reinforcement can be useful, it is ultimately damaging to the development of a child. By instituting a negative outcome (punishment or oppressive nagging) you are training a child to do what you want out of fear.
Negative reinforcement can be useful for children’s behavior when it is not instigated by you. For example, a child will put away their belongings so that they do not lose them. This is a better teaching opportunity than putting them away because “Mom is nagging me to do it”.
Dealing with difficult behavior in a child is always challenging, but by using these three tips you can teach them to learn better behavior and become more developed as a human being.
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