Behaviour management is a highly effective but vastly neglected area of discipline enforcement in young children. Young but errant children should be made to conform with proper techniques of punishment and reinforcement so that they understand their boundaries and are able to distinguish between acceptable and unacceptable behaviour.
Physical violence against a child is rarely effective and often backfires making the child unruly and stubborn. Give the child a fair amount of independence by setting his/her routines and making him/her take small decisions like choosing what to wear. Bad behaviour can be curbed with some highly effective behaviour management strategies. Here are some of them.
Different Types Of Behavior Management
Timeouts are being universally used by a large majority of parents for behaviour modification and management. Start by giving the child 3 chances for putting a stop to his/her bad behaviour. The fourth time the child repeats his/her offence send the child to his/her room and make him/her stay there for a definite period of time.
Normally it should be one minute for every year. Younger children will have to be physically taken to their rooms and asked to remain there. If they try to act stubborn and leave, take them back and restart the timer. Be unwavering and firm. It gives the child an idea that boundaries are supposed to be followed.
Positive And Negative Reinforcement
The fear of pain is a huge deterrent for bad behaviour. Use positive and negative reinforcement while trying to shape the child’s behaviour. For example, if the child is repeatedly picking up a knife, confront him gently, look him/her in the eye and explain to them what will happen if they get hurt with the knife.
Never criticize the child by saying ‘you are bad’. Rather, criticize the action by saying – ‘what you did was incorrect’. Praise the child every time he/she does a good thing like hugging, kissing and saying ‘thank you’.
Rewards are a great way of negotiating with your children and expecting desirable outcomes of behaviour with them. The reward does not have to be overt. If your child has been exceptionally good and obedient on a particular day, reward his/her by taking his/her out tohis/her favourite shopping destination or a picnic.
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Tell the child that he/she has been good so mummy is taking him/her out. This will give them self-confidence and high self esteem that they were appreciated and rewarded for their efforts.
Some children tend to be bullies who are prone to aggression and physical abuse. In such cases, it is best to sit the bully down and have an honest talk with him/her. It is important to find out from where the behaviour is stemming. Sometimes counselling can also help deal with child bullies.
In some cases, school authorities may also be asked to intervene in order to help mediate between the perpetrator and the victim. These are some of the behaviour modification strategies that parents can utilize in order to train and shape their children’s behaviour.
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