One of the biggest challenges we, as parents, face these days is raising children. Dealing with difficult and defiant behavior is one of the most challenging parts of being a parent, and whether you are dealing with the refusal to put on shoes or a full-blown tantrum, you may be at a loss for how to effectively respond to these issues.
Rest assured, frazzled parents, there are some tried and true techniques that you can employ to get your kids back on track and to give you peace of mind that you are all headed in the right direction. These roadmap strategies offer practical advice toward creating a calmer, more soothing environment for everyone in your home, and you can use these strategies in school, to help them be more successful in the classroom. Try these tips for behavioral consistency and emotional well-being, for both you and for your child. As you navigate these stormy waters together, employing some of these techniques will help you both emerge stronger on the other side.
Do what is right for you and for your family
What you choose to do has to be right for your child and for your family. If you are trying things that don’t work for your child, feel free to switch it up and put something else in place. The bottom line is, you have to believe that what you are doing is something you can stick with; children can smell insincerity a mile away, and they will play upon your insecurity to try and gain an advantage. Stay strong, and choose discipline strategies that you can stick with for the long haul.
Refuse to give up or back down
Although they will not often tell you this, children just crave consistency. They want to know where the lines is, and they want more than anything to know what happens when you cross that line. Knowing what expectations are, gives children a sense of safety and security, and they are more likely to comply with rules when they know what the potential consequences of their actions are. If you set an expectation and refuse to give up or back down, it will teach your child that you cannot be worn down over time.
When a child with behavioral challenges knows that you are dealing with them in a fair and consistent manner, he/she is far more likely to comply with your expectations, than when you constantly change the rules. Dealing with situations the same way, over and over again, helps to train your child and move them toward better behaviors. Even when the going gets tough, staying strong will help them realize that you are in charge.
No matter how riled up you may be getting, you need to remain calm when dealing with difficult behaviors. Many children seek attention with these behaviors, and if they see you refusing to engage in the drama they are trying to incite, they are less likely to continue with their behaviors. Remain calm and firm when handing out consequences and reteaching behaviors, and over time you will see positive changes in your child.
Accentuate the positive
If your child is seeking attention, retrain them from seeking praise from you by performing desired behaviors. Playing up their strengths, and refusing to acknowledge undesirable behaviors, will eventually cause them to seek consistency by changing their behavior. They will begin to make more positive choices and, as a result, learn what it means to model good behavior. While it might be like searching for a needle in a haystack some days, you will eventually see a shift in the percentage of good vs bad behaviors; the more you look for the positives, the more often you will find them.
Going the distance
Training up a child in the way in which they should go, is an exhausting job at times, but it is also very rewarding. One of the most noble things you can do is raise a child well; tackle the task with integrity, refuse to quit, and see what wonderful things you can do to change your child’s life in a positive way.