Child Behavioral Problems – A subject which has as many interpretations as there are minds in this world. Every parent has experienced a tantrum once in a while, a meltdown at the mall and a flare-up at the play store. As per the science, it is very natural for kids to display these kind of behaviors because they are in a development stage where they are starting to understand self and their emotions. They are testing waters every moment, trying to understand what response they invoke in you while they do different things.
But when does this learning process become a behavioural problem in a kids? Hyperactivity; throwing tantrums; aggressive behaviors like kicking, biting, screaming, hitting, pulling hair; lying, interrupting conversations, non-compliance, are some identifiable signs or symptoms that parents should avoid ignoring for too long especially if the child is resorting to these behaviors too often and regularly. Such behaviors are upsetting for the parents, no doubt, but they cause more distress to the child in question. With parents, teachers and other close ones not understanding how to deal with it, makes things all the more difficult for the child and everyone else around. What is it that works well in such situations? Is the child required to be handled with love and understanding or does he need to be dealt with stern actions like smacking and shouting?
Child Behaviour problems can start early and can prove to be quite challenging for parents to come to terms with and to deal with. Having faced such a situation however is not just a problem, it is also an opportunity to inculcate positive behaviour in him for the future thereby enhancing his self-esteem, confidence, and sense of achievement.
Types of Child Behavioral Problems in toddlers and preschoolers
The most commonly occurring behavioural disorders in children of this age group are:
a. When your child is defying the orders and not complying with instructions. This type of disruptive behaviour in kids is characterised by their defiance in obeying parents, teachers, and elders and their refusal to comply with instructions is generally accompanied by tantrums that seem to be aimed at trying to annoy the adult intentionally.
b. When your child is being physically aggressive like kicking and pulling hair. In fact, if not tackled properly, the child starts physically abusing animals and pets around too.
c. When your child exhibits impulsive behaviour, is thoroughly hyperactive and overactive and also suffer from lack of concentration and focus. Such children are usually very restless, do not stick to doing one task for more than a minute and move on to do different tasks very rapidly.
d. When your child is comparing himself continuously with his sibling. On all the small and big things, the comparisons are too often what you hear at home.
e. When your child is frequently lying to you or others.
f. When your child is taking/stealing something that he does not own.
g. When your child displays rude or disrespectful behaviour with other kids or elders.
Since the child in question here is too young, and he is still in his formative age where the brain is still developing, this is the right age to re-direct and control his negativity to change to positive behaviour and actions. Treating a child with behavioural problems do not just involve the child himself, but his parents and immediate family around also need to be trained on making the environment congenial and encouraging for him to change.
Discipline does not necessarily mean that one needs to punish or be strict with the child especially with someone who is too young to interpret his own behaviour and the results thereof. To make the child learn to behave well and conform to civilised methods of living, parents and the family need to improve their overall relationship with their child.
The first step is to start with introspection on what is not going right in their relationship with the kid. The needs of every child on an emotional level are pretty simply put in as love and attention of the parents, spending quality time with the parents, and acceptance from the parents. So finding the missing link is not a difficult task at all. Once we know the area of improvement, working sincerely and consistently towards bettering the aspect works wonders with the children.
Some specific tips that can work magically in your endeavour to improve behavioural issues in kids are:
- Communication: Working on better communication with the child involves improvising both verbal and non-verbal ways of communication.
- Under non-verbal mode, use of positive body language by the parent goes a long way in helping improve the behavioural pattern of the child. Plenty of smiles, a pat on the back, a tight hug are different ways of acknowledging the goodness in your child and should be used quite often. These gestures also communicate to the child that his parents want him – that they are happy and pleased to see him.
- Verbal communication involves using lots of humorous content that help the child smile. Listening to jokes cracked by your child, singing together, playing together, pulling off silly pranks on each other helps build a strong bond between parents and their kids.
- Appreciation: One effective way of promoting positive behaviour in a child is by praising the child for some good that he has done. Praise is a form of acknowledgment that communicates to the child that his efforts are being recognised by adults around and that he has been successful in pleasing them. It also takes away the child’s craving to seek undue attention from his parents.
- Change in attitude: One very effectual method of making your child proud of himself and boost his self-confidence is to be non-judgemental about his interests, feelings, and ideas. Listening to your child, his thoughts and opinions are essential. It is equally important to participate in activities that hold the child’s interests. All this leads to the meaningful development of the child’s character and personality in the formative years.
- Unconditional Love & Acceptance: Lastly, your child needs you and your approval more than anything else. His objective at this tender age is just to have his parents’ attention focussed on him entirely. Hence handling him with empathy and utmost care is crucial.