We’ve put together a child behavior checklist to help you handle some common behavioral issues you may be dealing with. If your children engage in any of these behaviors, here are some helpful tips on how you should respond.
#1 Talking Back
When you give your children instructions and they answer with ‘no, I won’t,’ this can be frustrating. When not handled appropriately, this can lead to arguments and even more frustration. So, what should you do? Here is one expert’s advice. If your child sasses back but follows instructions, you can simply ignore the talk.
Afterward, explain that it’s okay to feel mad, but being disrespectful isn’t. If the level of disrespect may cause harm to your child or to someone else, give him or her time to calm down and then discuss the behavior.
As needed, explain consequences, such as: If you keep raising your voice, you can’t get ice cream tonight. Set reasonable expectations and then follow through without being too rigid.
Pay attention to your own behavior, as well. How do you respond to other people? Are there any changes you should make?
#2 Not Telling the Truth
First, make it clear that, in your house, it’s important, to tell the truth. Then, if your child tells what you know to be a lie, ask him or her if this really happened. Or you can ask, is this something that you wish had happened?
It can help to get to the source of the lie. Children typically don’t tell the truth, VeryWellFamily.com says, for three main reasons: they want to get attention, they want to feel better about themselves, or they don’t want to get into trouble.
Understanding the ‘why’ of a lie may help you to discuss the importance of honesty with your child. When your children tell the truth in situations where telling a fib could have gotten them into trouble, praise them—and consider reducing consequences for the behavior you’re discussing.
#3 Blaming Other People
Few people like to be wrong, children included. Kids may decide to participate in the blame game, Sanford Health notes, because they want your approval or otherwise want to protect themselves. They may prefer to blame someone else instead of feeling guilty about something they said or did. Plus, some children aren’t yet able to process strong emotions such as humiliation.
Monitor how often your child engages in this behavioral issue and the impact it has on the people involved. To help your children develop a sense of responsibility, create a safe environment for your child to tell the truth. Don’t argue or overreact. Listen and validate feelings while helping your child to solve challenging situations. Also, model the type of behavior you want to see in your own child.
Children can swear to get attention or because they’re frustrated. Or they may simply be using a new word that they’ve just learned. If it’s for attention, not reacting may solve the behavioral issue. If they’re angry, it can help if you teach your child to manage and discuss their emotions.
This could include showing them how to count to ten before speaking—and then you could create a special word or phrase that your child can use that’s not offensive. Plus, adults in the household should watch the language they use.
Horizon Provides Structured Learning
Individual counseling can support your child and encourage them to behave appropriately. You could set your child up with therapy sessions to reduce anxiety and sadness, increase self-esteem, and forge a solid sense of self.
Part of changing behavior is having a structured environment inside and outside of your home. Horizon Education Centers provides this type of support for all children. If you’re interested in learning more about what we can offer your child, contact us today.