How parents can influence their children’s behavior

July 14, 2009 | Filed Under main 

Often times parents who have misbehaving children allow the children to continue this bad behavior for many different reasons. Some people think their children have ADHD, or other disorders, and let them get away with more, thinking they are helping the child. Still some other believe the children will grow out of it.  

Unfortunately these same parents who think they are giving their children a break are actually making things worse for the child. As a parent they understand their child and want to give them the patience and understanding the world would not otherwise give. The problem starts when the child continues to misbehave not just at home but in the outside world as well. The world doesn’t look at these children with the same patience his parent does, and in most cases a child has to learn that what they do has consequences, and in fact the best place to learn this is at home.  

Regardless of whether you have done this with your child or not, there is a better way, to improve the circumstances for your child and instead of setting them up for failure, help them learn about consequences now, so they will behave and not have problems later on. You have to realize it is important not to just accept their behavior based on their disorder because this gives them a false sense of security with the way they act. While you think you might be being compassionate, you are actually just taking the easy road, and leaving them to learn consequences on their own, often with more consequence than they need.  

In order to parent children with behavioral problems effectively you have to follow proven parenting methods that are shown to have worked for other families with child behavior problems. Even though their disorder may make it more difficult to understand, pay attention, or behave, they still have to do these things in order to succeed in society. The key is it is harder, not impossible.   

There are several parenting methods you can choose from that will guide you through the process of helping your child learn to be better behaved. You will continue to be compassionate, but just reminding them that their action will cause them to receive consequences will help. At home the consequences you choose will have to be something the child doesn’t like, but is capable of doing. For instance, making your child sit alone for 10 minutes, when they have a hard time sitting still is not a good way to punish them. On the contrary though, you could have them do chores they don’t like, or give up a toy for the day.  

Helping your child deal with their disorder or behavioral problem doesn’t mean you have to stop punishing them, and let them get away with everything. The world isn’t going to treat them the same way, so you need to improvise. Help them learn there are consequences for their actions, and soon you will have a better behaved child.


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Examples of how parents can influence their children’s behavior.

CHALLENGING BEHAVIOR 

DESIRED BEHAVIOR 

TIPS 

Temper Tantrums 

Not having temper tantrums as often.Temper outbursts not lasting as long.

Calmly take the child out of the situation.Tell your child quietly, faceto-face that you do not like his behavior.

Give attention when child has calmed down. “I like how you are able  to calm down.”

Refusing to eat 

Sitting at a dinner table and touching a spoon or food.Eating any food.

Eating more food.

Avoid nagging, threatening and warning your child during dinnertime. Talk about good things that have happened that day.When possible, let your child help prepare food and set the table.

Praise your child’s efforts to help.

Not listening 

Listening to your request.Following your directions

Make eye contact with your child—get on the child’s level.Give clear, step-by-step directions.

Give them praise for following directions.

Whining 

Talking in a normal tone of voice.Using words and sentences appropriate for age when asking for things.

Not using whining to get attention.

Whenever possible listen and respond when children want to tell you something.If you are unable to fully listen or respond right away to what your child is saying, pause and explain this to her. “I need to finish my phone call first and will talk with you as soon as I am done.”

Ignore whining.

Breaking household objects 

Handling things gently and carefully.Not handling or playing rough near objects that are easily broken.

Not breaking things on purpose.

Breakables should be kept out of reach of children whenever possible.Childproof your home

Biting and/or hitting 

Showing anger in ways other than biting or hitting.Asking parent or caregiver for help.

Using words to talk about what is making them mad.

Walking away.

 If necessary, remove the child from the situation. After the child has calmed down, explain to her that it hurts to be bitten or hit and must never bite or hit anyone-tell the child that feelings are ok—hurting others is not.Show your child other things to do when upset such as using words to express anger.

(”I don’t like that.” or  “That makes me mad..”)

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