When your child acts up or misbehaves, it can be embarrassing. You may feel that your child’s bad behavior makes you look like a bad parent. Don’t worry too much, though. In most cases, misbehaving is simply a part of growing up and learning how to interact with the world. According to Family Doctor, sometimes what seems like bad behavior may actually be appropriate for a child, based on her age. If your child is misbehaving, deal with it in a positive and serious manner to prevent it in the future.
Ignore the bad behavior if it is mild and will not cause immediate harm. Sometimes, children will act out to get attention. If you ignore a child’s misbehavior, she will learn that it is not an effective way to get attention and stop. You shouldn’t ignore behavior that can harm the child or others around her, though.
Call a time-out. Family Doctor advises that you pick which incidences of bad behavior will result in a time out before they happen. For instance, a temper tantrum should result in a time-out, just as it should when your child hits you or another person. You may want to give your child a warning that a time-out is coming if he does not stop what he is doing. If the bad behavior continues, issue the time-out. Place the child in a chair or on a mat in an area where there are no distractions, such as a television or radio, nearby. Have the child remain in the time-out for a set amount of time.
Establish rules with your child. Let him know what you will and will not tolerate. If your child can read, you may want to write the rules down on and post them on the wall. When you make up the rules, also come up with consequences if they are broken. Make these consequences clear to your child.
Encourage good behavior in your child. You may be able to change a bad behavior into a good one by rewarding your child for completing the good behavior, according to Family Doctor. If bedtime is a struggle for you and your child, offer to read her an extra bedtime story if she goes to bed when you tell her to, for an entire week. Ideally, your child will want the reward enough to reverse the bad behavior.
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