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Children give cues or signs that we need to attend to. Our child’s misbehavior is symptomatic of an underlying cause. It could be tiredness, lack of sleep or the child may be hungry. We need to address the underlying causes that give rise to the disturbing symptoms.
We focus too much on negatives and ignore positives or take them for granted. We give a negative command ‘Don’t do this or that” rather than offer an alternative and give an explanation why and how it is helpful.
We expect too much from our kids, more than thy can deliver. We assume our kids know more than they can accomplish. When a child misbehaves, show him an alternative, and let him observe a better way of behaving. We provide modeling. Children learn by what we do.
Apologize when you do something wrong. We all make mistakes and we learn from them. We all are accountable for our actions. Emotions are difficult to control even for us as adults. Teach them to stop, breathe, recognize and respond.
At times our children do what could be irksome. We may ignore some behaviors selectively if they are not harmful. When safety is not an issue, try watchful waiting.
When you ask them to stop something that causes disruption, do not ignore, or react. Show them a yellow light and if they cross the line, they need to follow the consequences. They may lose the privilege of watching the TV until they do what they need to do. Do not give them vague warnings. Be clear and firm.
Use time-out effectively. Do not use it as punishment or rejection, but use it for your child to calm down and reflect. It helps to hold a child to settle him down. It also helps to co-breathe with your child when she is upset or angry. Different children respond differently. We need to figure out what works for our child.