Dealing with bad behavior by our kids is not always easy. I am sure I have messed up before and chances are you have, too. Here are some of the ways we make mistakes and some suggestions on how to deal with it.
One mistake we often make is that we are too negative. Listen to all those commands you have given to your child earlier today. Did they sound something like this, “Don’t hit your brother,” “Stop pulling the cat’s tail?” The problem with this is that we are so used to saying “no” to our kids that they have tuned us out.
Try to change you behavior to something more positive. Tell your children what it is you would like them to do rather than what they shouldn’t be doing. An example would be instead of saying, “Don’t hang your head out the window,” it might be better to say, “Keep your head inside because it’s safer.”
Another common problem is that sometimes we expect too much out of our kids. You are sitting in the doctor’s office and you child is yelling out to you and you tell them to shush. Not two minutes later they are yelling out to you again. How mortifying.
You wonder to yourself why she keeps does this. Remember that they are not doing this necessarily to be a pain, but it is more one of them not knowing how to behave.
You can help them learn to know how to behave. Instead of constantly telling them to hush in the doctor’s office point out what others are doing to keep themselves occupied. For example, “I am reading a book to pass the time.” Your child will eventually learn what is expected of them.
Another mistake we make with our children is that we sometimes model behavior we don’t want them to do, yet modeling is one of the biggest ways kids learn behavior. For example, we drop something and out slips that yell or curse, or if someone cuts you off when you are driving you might let a rude name slip out. If you do, stop and apologize to your child and talk about what just happened. This will help your child learn what is right and wrong, while at the same time learn that we aren’t perfect.
Finally, don’t intervene with your kids if they are just annoying. If your kids are just acting like kids and running around outdoors, don’t start yelling at them because of the noise. After all kids will be kids, and you can’t be interfering every time they act like kids. Try to interfere selectively, i.e., remember that kids sometimes are noisy because they are just being kids.