Preventing Children Bad Behavior Before It Starts II

This time we will continue our previous discussion last week. This time we will talking about parent’s consistency and children character.

Consistency

Choose a small number of rules that are absolute and stick to them! These rules should be non-negotiable and carry with them clear and immediate consequences if they are broken. In my family, rules about safety are set in stone. If you ride your bike without a helmet, you lose bike privileges for a week. No exceptions. This way I know my child is always going to wear his helmet, and I save myself the hassle of arguing with him each day after school about whether he can ride his bike without it.

A psychologist I know stated that the surest way to have kids who misbehave is to be inconsistent. By having limits that are fluid and that change depending on circumstances, kids spend most of their time with you testing those limits. They know that sooner or later, they’ll wear you out, and they’ll get what they want.

So, if you want to be worn out day after day, then the secret is to be wishy-washy about rules. If you don’t want to battle day after day with your kids, then set good rules and stick to them!

Know your child

Every child has a unique style which includes their own set of triggers for bad behavior. For my son, transitions always cause him to become unglued. A temper tantrum always ensued at the end of play dates, the beginning of a school day, or the call to the dinner table.

So, I learned early on that to avoid that type of misbehavior, I needed to be savvy about transitions. I give plenty of warning before a transition, and I usually sweeten the deal to make it easier. For example, I play his favorite music in the car on the way to school so that he focuses on looking forward to his songs rather than his nerves about having to leave the house and head to class.

Your child might have similar issues with transitions, or she may act up when tired or hungry. Your child might feel uncomfortable in crowds, be afraid of loud noises, or become easily overwhelmed in stores. By knowing your child’s triggers for bad behavior, you’ll know what to avoid. For those things you can’t avoid, you’ll at least be able to develop helpful strategies for coping with problems.

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