Every child carries within him/her brain and nervous system permanent recordings of the way they experienced their own impulses as a child, the way they experienced the world, the way they felt about the world and the way they adapted to it. Apart from the fact that every child is born with inherited characteristics, their experiences together shapes the behavior of a child. Heredity and the environment together influences the behavior of a child.
Children do not outgrow undesirable traits as they grow older. Instead, patterns established early in their life persists regardless of whether they are good or bad, harmful or beneficial. If an undesirable pattern of behavior or unfavorable beliefs and attitudes have started to develop, then the sooner they can be modified, the easier it will be for the child.
As the early foundations quickly develop into habits through repetition, they will have a lifelong influence on a child’s personal and social adjustments. Learning and experience play dominant roles in the development of traits in children. If they can be directed and controlled, then the development will be along lines that will make good personal and social adjustments possible.
Parents Nurturing The Behavioral Health For Children
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is the common behavioral disorder that can be seen among the children in their toddler-hood age. If your child cannot pay attention, struggles to concentrate in every activity or cannot sit still, then he/she may have ADHD. Children with ADHD are hyperactive.
Though they exactly understand as to what is expected from them by their parents and their surrounding people, they face problems in following through. They can’t pay attention to anything, especially when they are anxious or excited. These children may face problems to get along with the society and in their career, as well.
Parents can use positive reinforcements, if their children shows composed behavior and thereby, condition their child’s mind for the positive behavior. Parents can use rewards and consequence, such as “timeouts” when their children misbehave.
Parents should listen and respond to the child’s needs appropriately. They should make the child feel secured. Parents should use appropriate language (positive words), while dealing with their children, especially those who have ADHD symptoms.
Like ADHD, conduct disorder is also a childhood behavior disorder. In fact, it is one of the most prevalent categories of mental health problems of children in the recent years. Children who are suffering from this disorder may indulge in aggressive and destructive activities that eventually disrupts the environment.
The children with this disorder would seldom hesitate to violate the social norms and the rights of the other people. Children with this sort of behavioral disorder would have anti-social attitude and they tend to expose such attitude in the growing phase of time.
Parents of these kind of children have to resort to apply behavioral principles (relating reinforcements to enforce the particular behavior and ensuring the persistence of behavior in the absence of reinforcements) effectively. Apart from that children have to be taught and inculcated the moral values and ethics.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)
Children who are thought to have ODD would be easily annoyed or irritated. They use harsh arguments and temper tantrums frequently. Moreover, they have poor self-esteem and may get easily frustrated for even trivial matters.
In order to reduce the ill effects of this disorder in children, parents should adopt a loving and nurturing parenting style and they should ensure in all their activities that their children feel protected and soothed. This sort of mental support given by the parents have the utmost capacity to heal the inner wounds of the child.
These behavioral disorders should properly be taken care of . Or else, the child may grow as a dysfunctional adult or an anti-social element in the future. Some important measure has to be taken from parents’ side as well. Parental responsibility plays a vital role in regulating the behavioral pattern of the children.
Dealing Positively With Undesirable Behavior
It is quite common to witness a child protesting or quarreling when things are not getting along as per their expectations. There may be many negligible reasons for which children would fight with each other or with elders. May be to prove that they are superior or to take their place in a group or some may be in bad needs of attention or some have lack of self-control or are not simply happy.
Whatever may be the reason, when behavior becomes too bad or unbearable, then it is important to know how to handle it safely and gradually eradicate it. Try not to react to your child’s bad behavior. It actually reinforces his/her behavior.
Instead of degrading your child for his/her bad behavior, try to praise or reward them for their good deeds and behaviors in the past. This is an act of reinforcing their positive side. Try often to inculcate the strong belief in the tender mind of your child that they are actually good and meant for good deeds.
This positive conditioning of their mind would not enable to take a negative stand, even in tough times of their life. But, this conditioning is a gradual process and results would also be revealed in a slow and steady manner.
Teaching Them To Face The Reality
Obviously, children are born capable of all feelings, ranging from affection to rage. Children naturally seek pleasure over pain, they are naturally self-centered, yet can learn to feel guilty about wanting anything for themselves. However, children are not born with their feelings already programmed toward objects and people.
Each child learns towards whom and what to show affection. Each learns whom and what to hate and love, as well. Somehow, each child experiences all feelings, each eventually adapts with a favorite feeling. Instead of avoiding the difficulties and deceiving themselves that they don’t exist, teach your children to face the reality and accept the situation, how so ever tough it might be.
This attitude of facing the challenges with a complete self-acceptance, would tend to mitigate the cognitive dissonance in your children. Eventually, this mindset would enable them to develop their decision making skills and thereby, contributes to the behavioral health of your children.
Develop The Sense Of Self-Reliance
As far as possible, hold your children accountable for the tasks, that have been assigned to them. Unless and until needed, don’t keep on giving instructions in each and every activity of your children. Let them learn from trial and error.
This could be the effective method to instill the self-reliant attitude on your children. This trial and error learning would make your child feel confident and empowered, when they achieved something (even if it is something small), of their own choice.
A person who has been brought up with a self-reliant attitude, would trust his own judgement and is in control of his/her life. He/she will have a definite access to his/her inner-resources, which helps them to cope with the unpredictable situations of life on his/her own. On the whole, allow your children to take responsibility for their own deeds.
Spend Quality Time Together
Spending a good quality of time together with your child may add feathers to the parent-child bond, which can be used as a healing tool to the unaddressed problems of your child. Positive interactions can be used to reinforce the positive behavioral pattern of the children.