The job of a child is to learn about the world, the people in it and what does and does not constitute acceptable behavior within those boundaries. Part of that learning process will inevitably encompass testing the behavior of adults around them; both at home and at school. However tempting it may be to think so, no child is an absolute angel all the time. Putting effective strategies in place to moderate behavior and set boundaries is beneficial to everyone concerned:
Reward good behavior. Be careful not to reward bad behavior or allow it to turn into bribery. Children are smart and will work out quickly that a tidy room means a treat. Reinforce good behavior with praise and reward exceptional behavior with treats.
Employ time out. A useful strategy for both adult and child; the "naughty step" can be more effective than "go to your room," as the child doesn't have toys or other pleasant distractions to occupy them. Time out allows the child to focus on their behavior instead. For the adult, it allows time for anger to die down before speaking to their child.
Set rules. The most frustrating thing for a child is to do something that seems perfectly okay to them, only to find that it isn't allowed. If a child isn't allowed in a certain room or to touch certain things, tell them. If they don't know, then punishing their bad behavior is confusing and can make them anxious.
Be consistent. If rules, such as set bedtimes, are to be broken, make the reasons clear. As above, confusion about what is and isn't right, can lead to challenging behaviors.
- Do as I do. Children learn by observation. Want them to moderate their language, curb their temper or tidy up? Be a role model.
About the Author
Cody Taylor is the owner of Personalized Piggy Banks, a company that specializes in creating customized baby gifts and piggy banks for kids. Personalized Piggy Banks is known for their originality. Taylor believes that giving a personalized gift will never lose its value and puts a lot of energy into the company to ensure that every child gets a one of a kind gift. Each gift is hand painted with great detail by artists Dodo and Channi and promises child safeness.