Reasons for Your child’s misbehavior and how to deal with it

When you don’t understand why your adorable three-year-old daughter is suddenly whining and throwing her dollhouse and stuffed toys around the living room, don’t fret; instead, take control of the situation. Child development experts from the likes of Regis College have studied behavior for years. We have collated some info and have tried to explain five reasons why your child suddenly displays a tantrum, shows defiance, expresses anger and other emotions, and how to address this behavior in the most effective way.

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1 A regular bedtime cures naughtiness in children

According to a study, children who have a regular sleeping time tend to display good behavior than those who don’t. So, if you notice that your toddler is becoming uncontrollable and impulsive like the minions, let them get into the habit of sleeping regularly from eight to ten hours a day. If they find it difficult to follow this regimen, it might help to read them some bedtime stories before tucking them in, and to play some soft classical music that will really lull them to sleep.

And, make sure that you provide your children with their basic needs for food, health, nutrition, and others. These needs greatly influence their behaviors, as well as their total development in all aspects.

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A regular bedtime cures naughtiness in children

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2 Reinforce your children’s good behavior, but don’t punish them for their wrongdoing

When your children do something good like putting back their toys into the box, give them a hug or show them your appreciation. If you wish to instill discipline in them, give them clear limits and rules. Guide them through these limits and rules, until they learn all of these things by heart. Punishing a child who has done something wrong does more harm than good.

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A child and family psychologist explains that praising your children encourages them to continue displaying good behavior that is consistent with the limits you set for them. You just need to reiterate your rules to them until they get them right. It’s important for you to pay attention to the positive accomplishments of your kids, instead of preoccupying yourselves with things that will only complicate their lives and yours too. So, when Little Cindy starts to display the behavior you desire, give her a hug or a praise to reinforce the positive behavior and encourage her to keep on working at it.

Reinforce your children's good behavior, but don't punish them for their wrongdoing

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3 You can see yourself in your kid

Don’t ever make the mistake of shouting at your kids, no matter how frustrated you are. Research shows that the tone of one’s voice affects how you impart or teach “what is right and what is wrong” to your child.

Findings from clinical psychology suggest that parents don’t need to scream or shout, or point fingers on other people, in their fervent desire to set limits and establish the rules for their children. Hostility and unkind words don’t work with children. They wouldn’t want to listen to you, if your tone of voice is full of anger and hostility.

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You can see yourself in your kid

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4 To learn good behavior, age doesn’t matter

Babies, toddlers, and preschoolers can all start learning good behavior. They don’t know the rules yet, but they will know what these rules are once they transgress or commit a mistake. A toddler can easily calm down once you tell him/her to sit on a chair for a few minutes, but a lanky teenager might rebel and do the opposite if he hasn’t learn this before. So, start inculcating good behavior into their consciousness, early in life.

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No two children, even of the same age, develop at the same speed. You cannot rely upon age as a gauge of behavior. A child’s chronological age differs from her/his developmental age which shows the extent of his/her social, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. It’s possible that a child, whose chronological age is five years old, may show the behavior, characteristics, and abilities of a toddler. All children are different and a lot of factors influence their development. Thus, there is no such thing as behavior that is appropriate for six-year old kids or, for the toddlers.

To learn good behavior, age doesn't matter

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5 Keep a diary to track and think about the causes of your child’s sudden behavioral change

Have you thought about what it is like when your child suddenly displays a tantrum, throws away toys, bursts in anger, shows defiance or cries as loud as s/he can? What could have triggered these behavioral changes? You can jot down your child’s fluctuating attention levels in your diary, and note down when your child is behaving according to the boundaries and rules you set for him/her, and when your child does something you don’t approve of.

With the help of your diary, you will know how to respond to your child’s petty misdemeanor by reviewing the sequence of your child’s activities that you had written down. And, if you still need help, you can always turn to your GP, who can readily refer you to various types of services, advice groups, and parenting classes. Aside from these experts, don’t ever forget your friends, family, and other parents, who can help you cope with your current situation no matter how difficult it might seem to be.

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Keep a diary to track and think about the causes of your child's sudden behavioral change

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If you think being a parent is easy, think again. It’s not an easy ride, but your burden becomes light when you can communicate with your partner or, your sister, and other family members, who can guide and help you along the way. Other parents whose children are of the same age as your child can also help you and offer potent solutions to your problems.

Look for individuals and groups who can support you; keep your communication lines open, and dare to approach experts and professionals who can assess at your concerns and issues, objectively. For example, if things are really bad then you might want to seek advice from a child therapist. Learn to be a successful parent, and live life fully with your child and family.

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