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Dealing with your child's inappropriate behavior can be easy. Trying to curb such behaviors, parents or teachers generally overlook certain essential aspects. Having an experience of being able to handle children with problematic behaviors, I would like to share some key elements which will help parents or other caregivers to deal effectively with children in their day to day lives.
Short Period Of Consequence/ Response
The consequences a child experiences from his parents or teachers for acting inappropriately should be short and to the point. Whether we are telling the child to stand at the corner of the classroom or taking away a toy of his choice, a short duration of time will be very much effective. If we do the opposite, the effectiveness of the consequence is bound to decrease.
Do Not Carry Over
Punishment/ consequences should rarely be carried over to the next day. Rather, parents must find new ways of handling that behavior by the next day.
Effective Reward System
Set a timer once you have asked your child to do some task. If the task is done before the timer rings, give your child a reward. To decide the amount of time to give the child, figure out your child’s "best time" to do that task and add 5 minutes. Write a short list of good behaviors on a chart and mark the chart with a star each time you see the good behavior. After your child has earned a small number of stars give him or her reward. Remember, the reward should be as per the age of the child and NOT anything what he or she wants!
Immediate action should always be taken for any problematic behavior. Delayed action/consequence from the parents or teachers will increase that behavior in the child. For the next time he will learn that ' It’s not necessary for me to show good behavior, I can freely continue with what I was doing'.
Do Not Model Bad Behavior
Try not to yell or use any extreme approach to curb your child's behavior. In a way they are getting an opportunity to see and learn bad behavior from you. They might imbibe and exhibit such behavior in other situations outside home.
Never Compare Your Child
If you compare your child with their siblings or others, it will decrease their confidence and self esteem. Also, they might develop anger or rage against others.
Spending Alone Time
Ask your child to play quietly alone or with a sibling for a short time. Check on your child frequently (every 2 to 5 minutes, depending on the child’s age) and give a reward or a token for each few minutes they were quiet or playing well. Gradually increase the intervals, but continue to give rewards for each time period your child was quiet or played well.