Part of the roller-coaster ride called “parenting” that all parents will recognize is the ups and downs of child behavior, the changing expectations about what is considered normal or abnormal behavior, and what is our best course of action when we are confronted with particular child behavior problems.
Sometimes it can seem as though we are constantly being faced with an ever changing field of play when faced with child behavior problems…. do we spank, do we admonish, do we give time-out, do we withdraw privileges, do we ignore, do we jump-up-and-down, do we use some kind of behavior modification program…. the truth is at times we have all these things running through our minds.
We have our parents and grand-parents giving us one set of advice, we have teachers advising us another way, and we have child behavioral experts guiding us in another direction to deal with child behavior problems the “right” way. But the absolute truth is that we know our children better than anyone else, but it’s important for us to have faith in our child-parent relationships, trust in our parenting skills, and love and compassion in our hearts when dealing with problem behaviors in our children.
Now if you’ve spent some time browsing around this website, you’ve probably worked out that I’m not one for handing out black-and-white advice regarding child behavior discipline and behavior modification. Sure I have strategies that work for me as a parent (I even have products that I sell :)), and I also know through experience, research, and just through what my heart tells me, that some methods like physical punishment and yelling, when dealing with child behavior problems, can be damaging or just plain don’t work. But I also know that the fluid nature of parenting can cause stresses that a non-parent might find hard to understand…sometimes parents react in those moments and just do what gives the most immediate relief, be it spanking, bribing, or yelling. Most parents understand those moments, and I’m sure if we are honest, most of us have reacted in similar ways before. I don’t think it’s fair (or helpful) to judge others under these circumstances but it is important to know that there are better ways of dealing with child behavior problems.
Some General Tips About Child Behavior Problems
- Consider that sometimes child behavior problems aren’t actually problems at all. It may be expected behavior common to your child’s age and development level and behaviors that will simply be outgrown.
- Trust in your parenting ability and your “knowledge” of your own child, but being able to recognize when a behavior problem is beyond your help is vital. Sometimes approaching a teacher, GP, or child health professional is the most important thing for you and your child.
- Sometimes what seems “problem” child behavior is appropriate considering the family structure, cultural background, health issues, and other similar specifically personal factors.
- Often there are many different, creative, and effective strategies to deal with child behavior problems. Do your research.
- Have faith that most child behavior problems can be overcome by being consistent when following effective behavior modification strategies.
- Be brutally honest and examine how your behavior may contribute to your childs behavior.
- Sometimes a sudden change in child behavior patterns can indicate underlying issues, such as school bullying, trauma, or coping difficulties. Digging deeper may be necessary.
- It is common knowledge that nutrition and certain food additives can play a part in some child behavior problems.
Child behavior problems can be many and varied, but by being confident in our parenting, open, receptive and consistent, and by recognizing when help is needed, most child behavior problems can be dealt with effectively.