Bad Behavior that starts young will continue throughout life
1. Problems in preschool do not indicate that a child will have a serious behavioral disorder for life. It is rare for physicians to make a serious behavioral diagnosis of a condition like oppositional defiance disorder (ODD) or conduct disorder in a child under 5 years of age. Children are growing and developing so much in their first five years of life that it’s hard for any professional to assert that certain behaviors are indicative of a lifelong problem.
Children Respond to Punishment More Than Rewards
2. This is a mistake that many educators, childcare providers, and parents make. They believe that providing strict limits for a child will encourage them to develop self-discipline. While this is true because all children need limits to know they are loved by adults, using punishment is not a preferred method of fixing behavior. Children of all ages, and even adults that managers coach in the professional workplace, will be more motivated by being praised when they exhibit positive behaviors. A punishment will not motivate anyone, especially if they are being embarrassed or made to feel bad about themselves. That being said, parents need to figure out if children are intentionally breaking their rules at home or at school or engaging in certain problematic behaviors to get negative attention.
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Children Should Be Diagnosed by A Doctor To Receive Medical Treatment
3. Believe it or not, it could make any parent or caregiver’s life a little easier if a hyperactive child was given medicine to calm down. A teacher’s life would be easier if a child was given medicine to focus during class. However, medical providers don’t want to rush to say that a child has a disorder of any kind until they are old enough and until their behaviors are documented well enough to indicate there’s a significant problem. Parents must be careful not to label their own children because this can negatively affect a child’s self-esteem.
Children should be bargained with in order to control their behavior, especially when the family is in public.
4. While parents need to choose their battles with children exhibiting troublesome behaviors, bargaining indicates that the child will get what he or she wants when compliant. Most young children do not even possess the ability to rationalize their own behaviors. Parents should bear in mind that giving a preferred reward does not increase the child’s ability to behave over time. Parents will do better to offer rewards that the child prefers and then fade them out as the child increases his or her level of compliance. Children also need to be taught behaviors or strategies to use when they begin to show a non-preferred behavior.
Children respond better to loud voices and yelling to get their attention.
5. While it is true that young children and older children may have grown up in environments where yelling is the preferred communication method of the parent or caregiver, this is not the best approach. Frequent yelling can cause a child to become desensitized to loud noise. Parents should find the best method of securing a child’s attention to provide verbal cues and to effectively coach them on their behavior. Yelling should be used sparingly, and usually is more effective for stopping a child from doing something that will be immediately harmful to his or her body.
Many behaviors can be fixed or replaced with substitute behaviors just by figuring out what motivates or triggers the child to engage in them.
Brittany Waddell is a contributing writer and media specialist for Youth Villages. She often produces content for a variety of fostering blogs.