Top 5 Behaviour Management strategies for kids
Just like any other management system, behavior management for children is not only essential, it also needs to be done in a systematic & well-planned way. It revolves around providing the right guidance to your child so that he/she can distinguish between the wrong and the right behavior and is encouraged to follow the right one. Kids come with their own set of attitudes and have their individual ways to respond and react to situations and with fellow human beings, and no two kids are the same. Hence there can be no generic way of managing child behavior problems of kids but by following a defined set of the behavior management strategies, positive behaviors can be inculcated in kids. Doing so helps to set in a constructive and practical behavioral pattern in kids. Whether it is in school or at home, managing the behavior of kids should be done in a focused and mindful manner. While it can be daunting and challenging, strategizing and planning well in advance helps in setting the perspectives right thereby achieving the final goal.
Tips for devising behavior management strategies for your kids
Setting & Communicating the rules
The behavior of kids, to a great extent, is influenced by the company they keep at school & at home. So a congruence in the behavior management strategies used in school & home is a great way to reinforce and manage the child behavior patterns. As we see typically, the teachers define basic rules for their class and introduce the kids to the same at the onset itself. A similar thing can be and should be practiced at home too.
Even if your style of parenting is friendly and open, it is necessary that you fix certain guidelines and routine and inform your kids about the same. This is one of the most important steps in behavior management for children. When you inform your kids about the rules, you are actually communicating to them what you expect of them behaviorally. The earlier the rules are set, the better it is. Kids till a certain age try in their own little ways to impress their parents and make them happy. The faster they get into a set routine, the easier it is to manage their behaviors.
Instantaneously managing the behavior deviations.
Deal with the behavioral issues timely and in the moment. The more the delay in addressing the issue, the lesser the impact will be on the child. On-the-spot clearing issues related to behavior is highly recommended. This gives the child instant feedback on what was wrong with his behavior and why his parents would not tolerate it the next time. He then kind of flags it off for the future with minimal chances of a repeating the same behavior at a later point in time.
Rewards and reinforcements
This has been a strategy that involves the fundamentals of human psychology and has been agreed to work wonders in child behavior management. In order to encourage good and pleasant behavior, as parents, you need to reward the child for the same. Rewards should not be thought of as materialistic only – parents need to go in for positive feedback, appreciate him/her in front of siblings and other family members and once in a while incentivize, for example, relaxing a rule for the child or making him his favorite meal, etc.
The idea behind rewards is a reinforcement of good behavior. It is also a means to communicate to the other kids to embrace good behavior and discourage them from unwanted behavior.
Punishment & Discipline
While punishments were thought to be one of the most effective ways of disciplining kids some years back, the concept does not find relevance in today’s world anymore. It rather has the potential to bounce back in undesirable ways and one of the most common things that we see today is that it makes them rebellious and antagonistic towards their parents and elders. Rather than punishing, it is much better to speak to the child on a one-to-one basis.
Researchers have proved that for managing child behavior problems, parents need to first understand the true reason behind the behavior. What the child needs, in this case, is a friendly approach, an empathetic comprehension of why he is getting into detrimental behavior. Situations like these are quite emotionally draining and challenging but parents need to hold on and deal with it patiently. It could be that he is indulging in undesirable behavior to seek your attention. Rather than shunning him outright for his behavior, positive strategies for behavior management in children expect you to look deeper and understand the root cause of the problem and address it.
Strengthen your bond with the child and lead by example
Parents get to know instinctively when their child is uncomfortable or does not like a particular thing. One of the basic steps of parenting is to spend valuable time with your kids. From reading books together to watching a game of sports, from going out for weekends to simply having meals together helps strengthen the bond between the kid and his parents.
When you work on your bonding with the child, you show him your caring as well as your firmer side. The better the bond, the securer the child feels and has higher self-esteem and confidence. It has been observed that children who come from families with great bonding tend to be better behaved than the ones who are scared or do not have a healthy bonding with their parents.
The other aspect is that kids try to copy their parents’ mannerisms and behaviors. Setting good examples by practicing what you preach makes it easy for him to comprehend the same and follow it. While if you say something and act out something else, the child can easily get confused and pick up what he thinks is the right attitude.