Altering Behavior and Instilling Discipline in Children

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Altering Behavior and Instilling Discipline in Children

     "Today there are a number of children with behavioral issues such as, insubordination to parents, displays of aggression, and selfish, disrespectful conduct”.

Although parenting involves loving and caring for children, it is also important to instill self-control in children through teaching them rules and self-discipline.

Principles

  1.  Be authoritative with your commands or instructions. However, do not get emotional (i.e. anger) as this can have an adverse effect.
  2.  Be consistent: parents should agree with one another and agree upon a plan of how to approach caring for their children. As such the child will not become confused and either side with one parent in particular or try to play parents off against one another.
  3. Be firm: This means even if the child throws a tantrum, it is important not to give in to his or her demands.

Behavioral Problems in Children

  1. Temper tantrum: If this occurs in children aged 1-2 years old then it is recommended to distract their attention to something else. However, if this occurs in older children then ignoring tantrums can be more effective: as eventually the child will give up and realize that by these actions they will not get what they want.
  2. Use positive reinforcement, “time in”, to encourage your child when he does something good. This can be done through praising or rewards. Often children act up and attract negative attention from their parents because they do not receive enough positive attention.
  3. If the child displays aggressive or inappropriate behavior an effective method may be a short Time Out, which can give a child the chance to pause and maybe change his behavior, or at least hear what the parents have to say. Parents can introduce the time out with few words, for example, “Time out, and no hitting, hitting hurts”. A brief withdrawal of parental attention, and then welcoming the child back into the social world of the family can be helpful.

In cases where parents are inconsistent and the child may simply not listen, it is recommended to seek professional consultation to explore different ways to adjust unwanted behavior. In shaping proper behavior in children parents or caregivers must realize that it is an important job that includes control, rules, and discipline. These will have a positive effect on the child’s development. However, the assertion of control should be too balanced; neither too strict, nor too lenient, and adjusted to the personalities and emotions involved in any particular situation. Some parents may find it hard to control their own emotions which make it difficult for them to effectively discipline their child. In such cases, it is advisable to consult an expert or ask another caregiver to intervene. Children that receive care, love, and warmth, combined with appropriate rules and discipline will have better personal development, be more independent, and be better able to control their emotions. This will allow them to develop good relationships with other children and relate well to older people and thus better fit into society.

 

Bangkok Child Health Center
4th Floor Bangkok Hospital
Open Daily: 09.00 – 20.00
Call. 0-2755-1213