As children grow up, they tend to harness more energy and get into trouble, such as breaking a vase in the house or hitting a playmate. Though this is perfectly normal, these ‘incidences’ may lead to them developing bad behavior and habits — if you don’t discipline them early on.
Here are some of the best and most efficient strategies when it comes to disciplining your child — helping them learn and adopt acceptable behavior as they age.
Put them in Time Out
If your child breaks something in the house after you’ve just paid auto repair for the hail damages on your car from the last hail storm, keep your cool and place them on time out. While you may feel the need to scream or punish them physically, it’s better to discipline them passively instead of raising your voice at them to prevent them from picking up the habit.
This technique works when you need a break from your child’s misbehavior, and if you know what they did wrong. It works best for younger kids, usually those two years of age and older. At this stage, kids know what attachment is and understand why they’re having a time out.
Restrict their Privileges
There are times when your child won’t have any logical reason for such bad behavior, or maybe you’re just too busy to notice the cause of that behavior. In this case, you have to know the things that are contributing to your child’s misbehavior.
For instance, they didn’t complete their homework or house chores on time, and you found out that they’re spending too much time on video games. You may want to take away video game privileges for the evening. This technique works best if the privilege is related to that behavior or if the privilege is something your child values. And if you take away that privilege from your child as soon as they show the inappropriate behavior.
It’s fine to give consequences to your child whenever they misbehave. But make sure to clearly explain what they have done wrong and why you’re giving them the consequence. For instance, if they don’t pick up their toys, tell them that you’ll put the toys away for the rest of the week. And remember not to be too harsh, don’t give consequences which will deprive their primary needs, such as depriving them of meals.
Hear them Out
Listening is essential in a good parent-child relationship. When your child does something wrong, let them explain and finish their story before judging. This technique will help solve the problem quickly and effectively. Sometimes bad behaviors are caused by something that has to do with your relationship. For example, if you notice your child feels jealous of their siblings, the best thing to do is talk to them and listen to them.
Know When to Get Help
If you think your child’s behavior is beyond your control, it’s best to seek help from a mental health professional. Do this when your child continues to disrespect authoritative figures such as parents, teachers, and other adults display aggressive and destructive behavior, and frequently screams and yells. Although it may sound intimidating to bring your child to a professional, addressing their behavioral issues early on can go a long way, molding them to be better individuals as they grow up.
As a parent, one of your jobs, and perhaps the hardest one is to teach your children how to behave. But learning efficient and healthy discipline strategies can go a long way — and any of the techniques mentioned can help give you a great start.