Raising children requires a heart of gold and nerves of steel. Although you knew your child would go through stages, knowing how to deal with them may have you pulling out your hair. Even healthy, well-adjusted children present parenting problems from time to time. A difficult child can be difficult to communicate with and frustrating to tolerate. Finding effective ways to discipline your difficult child can be tricky. You can overcome many parenting challenges by showing your child you love him and encouraging a good relationship.
Provide a Suitable Environment
Avoid difficulties with your child by promoting a child-friendly environment. Ask yourself if your home and surroundings suit the age and learning stage of your child. Eliminate possible areas of contention by setting up play areas that encourage exploration and relaxation. Remove any expensive items or heirlooms from this area, encouraging your child to feel comfortable and welcome.
Spend Enjoyable Time Together
Schedule regular times to spend together in enjoyable activities. Let your child help you choose these activities and use this time to enjoy each other’s company. Use this time together to encourage an open, loving relationship that allows your child to open up and discuss his feelings, rather that acting out in anger.
Avoid angry confrontations by incorporating cooldown periods. Timeouts allow both you and your children space to cool down and rationalize the situation. Begin using timeouts when your child reaches about 2-years-old. Set a designated area, such as a kitchen chair, to provide a few minutes for cooling down. After the timeout, use a calm voice to discuss the undesirable behavior and the reason for the timeout.
Like adults, children enjoy making choices. As an experienced adult, you know there is usually more than one way to accomplish a task. When attempting to prompt your difficult child to accomplish a task, verbalize two or more positive choices to help him feel independent and valued. Discuss the pros and cons of the various choices and offer guidance, but allow him to choose between various types of positive actions to accomplish tasks and responsibilities.
Reward Good Behavior
Notice how positive or negative your own behavior feels. If it seems like you are always harping on your child, he probably feels the same way. Focus on good behavior by acknowledging his efforts and positive actions. Difficult children often suffer from frustration and poor self-esteem, and many children misbehave to get their parents’ attention. Make it a point to build your child’s self-esteem by offering compliments and showing your gratitude when appropriate, rather than always criticizing his bad behavior.
- shouting boy image by Cherry-Merry from Fotolia.com