What do you do when your children defy you? Though a smack on the butt sounds tempting, it is often frowned upon, and usually fails to give the desired results. Parenting is an art which no one can ever teach you. But you can surely learn it. Here are 10 tips to try if your children have the flair for rebellion.
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1. Always Pay Attention To Good Behavior
Make it a point to appreciate your children whenever they do something nice without being asked. Sharing their toys, playing amicably, putting the empty cereal bowl in the sink, throwing the empty juice carton in the garbage, are all actions that require praise and an occasional treat (maybe). Most children act out only when they feel their parents are too busy to notice them.
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2. Point Out What Exactly They Did Right
Don’t forget to point out the exact action that extracted praise from you. Once children are clear about what you like and don’t like, they will try to do it again to make sure they are appreciated.
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3. Avoid Using Words Like ‘Don’t’, ‘Stop’ And ‘Can’t’
Kids have the tendency to try out things they are forbidden to do. Additionally, extreme words like ‘stop’ and ‘don’t’ could inject negativity into their minds. Try telling them “Please put your shoes in the shoe rack” instead of “Don’t leave your shoes on the floor”. Studies show how posit
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4. Nagging Is A No-No
Give instructions only once. Focusing too much on the task to be done or repeating the same thing a thousand times will only encourage your kids to go rogue. Don’t let it show how invested you are in making them do something- they will smell your determination and decide to disobey you.
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5. A Reward System Could Help
Try this out as a fun game where your kids are awarded points or stars when they do something they are told. You can also introduce negative points when they do something wrong. But it is important to understand that rewarding them is not the same as bribing them. Your kids should be well aware of the reason behind doing something good, and the consequences that would follow when they do something nasty. You will find out if the reward system was successful if after a point of time, they start doing things by themselves, without the need to be rewarded.
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6. Stay Calm
Don’t lose your cool when trying to deal with tantrums. The objective is to put out the fire and move beyond it. Shouting louder than your child is only going to do further damage and make them realize that they can push your buttons. Patience is the key to nicer children.
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7. Practice To Ignore
Sometimes ignoring can give you the best of results. Paying too much attention can often make your kids feel like too much is riding on their actions. Learn to let go sometimes to make them understand what they do don’t affect you drastically(even if it’s not true). Also, sometimes the defiance could be the result of something bigger, like stress, bullying, or academic problems. In such cases, you need to let the incident pass and try to figure out ways to help out your kid.
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8. Consistency Is The Key
Make it a point to keep your reactions consistent. If you get upset with your children only when you are alone, and remain calm when guests are present, it will give them the idea that it is okay to do something bad in the presence of others. This does not mean you have to shame your child in public- you can call them out of the room and rebuke them, and demand that they apologize to the guests if necessary
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9. Enforce Age-Appropriate Punishments
If there is the need to punish your kids, make sure it is age-appropriate. Ban cartoon privileges for a day if your child is a kindergartner. Try giving your primary school rebel some imposition. Ban the wifi privileges your elementary school-goer used to enjoy before he/she chose to disobey you.
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10. Talk To Your Kids
Talking is the best medicine. Find time every day to talk to your kids and make them understand the consequences of the good and bad they do. Shouting will never get your anywhere. Studies show how parents who have a special bond with their children find it easier to guide them and correct them.
Most importantly, it is necessary that you know your child well. Each child is unique and the corrective measures should suit their characters well. Knowing the pulse of your child plays a vital role in rearing them into better human beings.