According to parenting experts, there is indeed a quick fix to your child’s bad behaviour. You’re more than likely assuming that this tactic involves something to do with mixing up your disciplinary skills or strategies, and–for the most part–you’re right. Surprisingly enough, though, the real trick of this strategy is to look inward.
Like the misconduct of your peers, the bad behaviour or your kids can get under your skin and make your blood boil. This tends to bring out the worst in you as a parent. When you’re frustrated, you” tend to act impetuously and punish or snap at your kids with little thought. According to Bernard Percy, a parenting expert in Los Angeles, “If you focus on what a child is doing wrong, he’ll naturally resist, which leads to arguments and worse conduct.” In other words, when you get mad and act with little thought, your kids don’t acknowledge you as they should.
In order to counteract a child’s bad behaviour, you have to take a different approach. Many experts believe that there is a one-week strategy that can properly resolve any behavioural issues in your children. The trick is to use a different strategy for each day of the week!
Check out what these experts had to say about the one-week strategy and how it works:
Day one: Don’t react
In order to properly address bad behaviour, a parent has to be levelheaded and calm. As mentioned earlier, the trick to managing your child’s behaviour comes from within. Keep your cool and don’t react to their bad behaviour with your own blend of improper behaviour. “The mistake most parents make is responding to the misbehaviour since negative attention is better than none at all,” explained Ed Christophersen, Ph.D., a clinical child psychologist at Children’s Mercy Hospitals and Clinics and author of Parenting That Works.
If your children are acting up, don’t bother even acknowledging their behaviour. Don’t let them feel as though they have the potential to make you react by using bad behaviour. Either calmly address the situation or ignore the misconduct until they calm down and then acknowledge them.
Day two: Stay positive
Stay positive parents. Look deep down and raise your expectations, instead of expecting the worst and hoping for the best. Robin H-C, family coach and author of Thinking Your Way to Happy!, says that “Expecting kids to be bad is a self-fulfilling prophecy. When you label your child, make sure it’s positive so he has something to live up to.”
Don’t wake up on day two with negative expectations regarding your child’s behaviour. Remain optimistic that what you’re doing is working and will work if you keep at it.
Day three: Walk the walk
Jayne Bellando, Ph.D., paediatric psychologist at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, suggests the importance of leading by example. In other words, if you want your children to exemplify good behaviour and maturity, then once again, you must look inward. You have to be a shining example of what you want your kids to be if you ever hope to make an impact on their overall behaviour. In time you’ll see that the impressionability of your kids will play a factor in how they behave on a routine basis.
Day four: Validate before disciplining
Gary M. Unruh, author of Unleashing the Power of Parental Love, believes “[K]ids usually act out for a reason. That’s why you should point out the feelings that caused your child to misbehave, and then give her a fair consequence.” Offer our child the feeling of acceptance and understanding even as their being punished for bad behaviour.
Help validate and clarify what they’re trying to express before just blindly assigning a punishment, parents. Kids often lash out because they can’t properly emote or express their feelings or thoughts. Help them to do so, and don’t make them feel isolated or alone in the process. Let them know you still love them, but you have to punish them for their misconduct.
Day five: Be consistent
Bertie Bregman, M.D., chief of family medicine service at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, claims,”Parents need to be consistent, make your expectations clear, and avoid your own outbursts.” Similar to what we addressed earlier, you have to be calm and collected–no matter what.
If you don’t want your kid’s behaviour to be volatile, then you should also remain consistent. You can’t be calm one day, then unruly and unfair the next day. Consistency is key, parents. Remember, it’s up to you to lead by example.
Day six: But sometimes change the rules
If a lot of your kid’s bad behaviour comes from the same sources, experts recommend changing up the rules. “Sometimes,” says Catherine Hickem, author of Regret Free Parenting, “you simply have to deal with the havoc of resetting boundaries.”
Don’t let the same issues arise in your household. If your kid is constantly getting upset over, for example, screen-time, it’s time to mix it up. Instead of allowing the same routine that consistently causes friction, change your rules! Don’t allow for reoccurring problems and reoccurring bad behaviour. Either limit screen-time further or change the times at which your kid can watch.
Day seven: Chill out
Day seven is the day in which you take a look back at all of the progress you’ve made thus far. Take the time to look back and see how far you and your kids have come in dealing with bad behaviour–both yours and their own. After you’ve reflected for a while on the successes and downfalls of the week, take a rest from it all. You’ve earned it. Then, after a well-deserved parenting break, it’s time to further address any lingering issues. Try implementing whichever strategy you found most effective and take note for future purposes.
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