When your child is young, you may not worry much if they act out once in a while. However, if a child is aggressive or conniving, these behaviors can lead to serious problems during their teen and young adult years.
Children with behavior problems need boundaries and help controlling their emotions. Failing to do this can lead to problems as a child ages that could result in criminal activities and juvenile arrests and punishments.
As a parent, you want your child to succeed in life, but how can you encourage the behaviors you want to see and help your child stop acting out? Here are three tips.
1. Positive feedback can encourage positive actions
Giving your child positive feedback is a great way to reinforce good behavior. Kids who feel appreciated and celebrated are more likely to continue engaging in activities and actions for which they are praised.
2. Ignore negative attempts to get your attention
A mistake that many parents make is to give in when a child is acting out and behaving badly. When you're tired from a long day or out in public, it may seem easier to just give in to a child who is misbehaving. However, doing so only serves to reinforce negative behaviors.
3. When your child does something wrong, it's okay to use punishments sparingly
While most parents would prefer to be positive all the time, the reality is that negative behaviors should have negative consequences. A child who refuses to do chores around the house shouldn't get the new toy they want. Likewise, a teen who breaks curfew shouldn't be allowed to hang out with friends the following day.
Parents should be careful, however, not to go overboard with punishments as too much negative feedback can actually serve to damage a child’s self-esteem and reinforce negative behaviors. Using positive feedback and emphasizing good behaviors is the most effective way to motivate and empower your child.