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Home / Parenting

Parenting: Ways you can help misbehaving kids

 Before reacting to your child’s misbehavior, look at it as an expression of their thoughts and feelings (Shutterstock)

Parenting is not easy. No one teaches you how to raise children and you need to figure it out on your own as you go.

Now throw in the tantrums and bad behavior that drives you bonkers.

You cannot help but feel frustrated, overwhelmed, embarrassed and at times down right angry.

And if you’re not careful, it may bring out the worst in you only to regret moments later.

Before allowing yourself to get side tracked and react to your child’s misbehavior, look at it as an expression of their thoughts and feelings.

The reason why you may see it in a negative light is because they still don’t know how to express themselves like adults.

So technically, you should teach them how to express their emotions in appropriate ways.

Here are some tactics you can use to help your misbehaving tots.

i.Identify triggers

Your kids may be reacting to stressful situations you may not be aware of and that is why it is important to identify any stressors they may be encountering.

You may find that your child is affected by too much light, noise or heat in their bedroom. They could be overwhelmed with school work, or they may be completely bored and tired of sitting still waiting for you at the doctor’s office.

Instead of lashing out once they start crying and acting out, listen and assess the situation. Try to find out what may be causing their minds to register it as stress leading to a fight, flight or freeze reaction on their part.

 Teach your young ones how to manage their emotions (Shutterstock)

ii.Warn them

Before following through with the punishment, give your child a warning that if he or she misbehaves they will suffer a consequence.

And when it comes to consequences, don’t get too harsh and let it happen immediately or it won’t have an effect.

For example, if they hit their sister with a ball you can warn them that you will take the ball away and give it to the sister. If it happens after you told them not to do so, follow up the consequence immediately.

iii.Praise them

To encourage your child to behave in a certain way, use praises to affirm those behaviors.

If you catch them doing the right thing bring it to their attention and let them know how much you appreciate their good behavior.

This will make them feel good and they will seek to behave in desirable ways so they can please you.

iv.Help them find coping mechanisms

When emotions are built up, they will eventually find a way to come out. Teach your young ones how to manage them.

If they feel like they are about to lose it, let them know that they should talk to you first, count to ten backwards or do a breathing exercise to calm down depending on their age.

v.Use incentives

You can also instill positive behavior through simple rewards.

When they do their homework, treat their siblings well, pick up their toys etc, you can allow them to decide their dinner, play a game they would enjoy or do anything else they may choose.

Gradually, the good behavior will stick and become a pattern in their daily routine.

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