Our children are the apple of our eyes. If they get hurt, we feel the pain, and when they are happy, we are on the moon. But sometimes, due to some reasons, whatever our children do not only surprises us but leaves us wondering if we have been good parents lately.
Initially, the parents might dismiss the tantrums and peevish behaviour as part of the growing up years, but in later stages, the same can turn out to be a serious issue to deal with. Here is an effort to help you not only understand your child's erratic behaviour but how to go ahead and rectify it too:
Causes & Symptoms: It is the parents' expectations from their child (s) that start playing on the young minds and in failing to meet the expectations, the anger and frustration manifests as, temper tantrums, physical and verbal aggression, defiance, irritability and restlessness. At times they start using bad language, destroying property, lying, stealing, refusing to co-operate with necessary tasks, such as getting dressed in the morning, going to bed at night or doing school work.
Knowing what to expect from your child at each age will help you decide whether his or her behaviour is normal. There are many reasons for a child's misbehaviour, and many ways for parents to help the child improve. In fact, apart from agitated expressions, difficult behaviours may also be accompanied by signs of low self-esteem, discouragement and sadness. While all children display difficult behaviour at times, some show these reactions quite frequently and with intensity, thereby causing significant problems for themselves and others.
The most obvious reason is, 'inexperience'. You cannot expect a child to adhere to norms that you do! She/he is only in the learning phase. Let your kid (s) learn, and who better to teach than you, the parents. Then it is about being free, i.e. defying the set of rules you lay for them which is but natural instinct. But with time children do learn, so don't press too hard.
Many a times, parents vent out their own anger and frustration on the kid. The child is taken aback and is mostly bound to respond in the same manner. So please don't involve the young one in your state of affairs.
What to do: Think, before you act or say anything to your child. They are gullible, sensitive beings. Work out what problem your child is trying to sort out by being difficult and the best way is communication. Yes, talk to your child using the simplest, least restrictive approach. Make her/him emotionally secure as children need adults (read parents) to take charge of their lives so that they can try things out from a safe base, within safe boundaries.
Encouragement works better than punishment, so next time the apple of your eyes achieves something, though not on your scale, praise the efforts. When talking, speak clearly and firmly without shouting, standing close to your child with a direct look into the eyes. Let your face be serious and if possible, get another adult to back you up if necessary. Insist you are obeyed!
When laying down rules, keep them simple and fair, few in number, understandable for the child, consistently used, and changed/modified as children get older.
If still you feel that things are not quite under control, you can always seek help from a psychologist.
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