By: Anisha Chandrasekar
Nobody likes a badly behaved child. Before I became a mother, I was quick to judge when children threw tantrums or when they were rude and bossy. As a mum, I have come to realise that a child's behaviour is shaped by numerous factors. Here are some ways to encourage positive behaviour in your children.
1. Role model
Children learn a lot from their environment. As parents, we need to be role models ourselves for a child to emulate. If we need our children to put away their toys after play, we need to practice the same by keeping a neat and tidy home.
2. Realistic expectations
Every child has their own individuality. Respect that. It is important for you to appreciate the things he is good at and make your peace with his shortcomings. Make sure that your expectations are dependent on your child's age and skills. Do not nit pick on his capabilities or the lack of it either in his presence or otherwise. It is wrong to compare two children, even if they are siblings.
3. Appreciate and encourage
Every person has the need to feel loved and appreciated. When you notice positive behaviour in your child be it helping out at home, being sensitive to a sibling or friend or even sensibly handling a situation, make it a point to let them know that you have noticed and you appreciate their efforts. Pats on the back or kind words go a long way in inspiring the child.
4. Set your priorities
There will be days when you will need to pick your battles with your little one. Be firm on the rules that matter to you the most as a parent, and be prepared to be flexible on others. Being extremely rigid can cause kids to act up and throw tantrums to assert themselves.
5. Keep your promises
When you give your child your word, keep it. If you promise the child a trip to the park if he puts aside his games and completes his homework, do it. If you keep breaking promises, chances are the little one will not take you seriously and continue playing his games instead of getting started on his homework.
6. Give responsibilities
It is important to give your children, especially teens, age-appropriate responsibility. It could be small chores or assisting an elderly person in the house. When they are given responsibilities, children automatically rise up to the situation.
Build strong communication lines with your children in their early years, and ensure you keep them open through teenage and adulthood. Take a true interest in your conversations rather than just asking questions for the sake of it. Always be approachable and let your children know that they can turn to you without the fear of being judged or condemned.
Parents play a huge role in shaping the character of their children. Be aware of your actions and encourage positive behaviour at all times.
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