Child Behavior - Why Your Child Behaves Like That and What To Do About It

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It is essential to understand child behavior whether you’re a parent or someone who works with children. Part of our job as authorities is to teach children manners and socialize them, so they’ll learn how to get along with others. Getting along with others is crucial to happiness in life.

While there are plenty of books about discipline, there is no rule book that to follow for every situation. Part of the reason is that children are very different. Even within the same family, siblings have very different sensitivities and temperaments.

Within the realm of child behaviors, one thing is certain: you will eventually have to deal with poor decisions, difficult behaviors and attitudes even if your child is compliant and easy going right now. This is why it’s healthier to cultivate a reflective parenting style instead of a reactive approach. (I talk about this extensively in my parenting book.) Being reflective, rather than reactive will create a culture of trust in your home that supports your child’s growing identity and sense of competence.

Child Behavior and Age

Child behavior Challenging child behaviors can crop at any time, but typically, you’ll see that at the turn of a new developmental stage. (This is why it’s helpful to understand development, another concept I explain in my parenting book.) As a child transitions through the developmental stages, child behavior will change as he encounters new challenges, stressors and frustrations, some of which he may have no idea how to deal with. Although you may be stressing out because your child is talking back and being oppositional and defiant, keep in mind that your child is trying to adjust internally as well. Although your child may seem difficult and unapproachable, you still need to be someone who he can look to for nurturing and firm, but loving guidance.

At every stage of develop, you will find child behaviors that needs correcting, especially if your child is starting to develop a negative attitude. This will require great patience on your part and having strategies will help you get through the rough spots. For instance, during the toddler years, you may have a child who does everything he can to forestall bedtime, you may have problems with eating certain foods and then during adolescence, you will have attitude issues ranging from talking back to defiance as your child struggles to create an independent sense of self. It helps to know how to be firm, when firmness is required and how to use humor when appropriate.

Child Temperament

No two children are the same. Behavior is greatly influenced by personality and other factors, particularly tactile sensitivities, motor or visual impairments or any disorder, disability or perceived discomfort or fear that seems to be a part of your child’s makeup.

Child behaviors and ability to adapt under pressure will also vary due to a child’s general temperament and your child’s tendency to be shy, moody, compliant, reactive, etc.

Teachable Moments

The most important thing to understand about children and discipline is that kids are eager learners, especially if you know how to reach them. Unlike many adults who have become set in their ways, kids have a playful curiosity that drives them to explore uncharted territory and makes them open to changes in perspective.

You can teach your kids new child behaviors, but you have to understand that learning new skills requires repetition. For example, you don’t teach a kid to hit a home run simply by inviting him to step up to the plate. Home runs happen because a caring adult takes the time to coach a child to fine tune his batting stance and swing and follow through over time. In much the same way, a parent needs to guide and correct behavior. In order for a child to learn a new skill or make adjustments to an old one, you must be willing to give guidance over and over until the child gets what you are trying to teach him.

Getting help for Difficult Child Behaviors

When your child behaves in a way that is consistently hurtful to himself or others, belligerent, defiant or downright disrespectful to authorities, you need help. You simply cannot allow these bad child behaviors to continue because they only worsen with time and can be scary as your child grows bigger and stronger than you. (Mothers be forewarned: as I’m writing this article, I’m thinking about my twelve year old. Yesterday, we were goofing around and I realized that while I’m still a bit stronger than him, this will change very quickly in the coming year. If you have an out-of-control child or a child who tends to be reactive or aggressive, this is a valid concern, which is why you need to learn how to deal with these behaviors now.)

Before taking your child to a therapist or psychologist, I recommend you read the Total Transformation review, which is my review of a program you can use in the privacy of your home to help your child change inappropriate behavior while creating an environment that is supportive of his legitimate striving toward independence. It is an effective program and at the end of my review, you’ll find a link for a 30-day, no risk trial.

About the author: Laura Ramirez is the author of an award-winning parenting book that uses Native American concepts and child development to teach parents how to raise children to develop their strengths and use them to create lives of meaning, purpose and fulfillment.

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Child Behaviors - Parenting

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