July 12, 2017
Parenting Tips: 10 Positive Tips to Help Your Children Behave Better
Written by Rachel Eddins
Being a parent can be one of the best experiences of your life. It can also be an extremely challenging experience.
You want your children to behave, but sometimes that takes extra work on your part.
Here are 10 ways you can help your children behave better.
Make Sure They Get Enough Sleep
You know how crabby you can get when you haven’t gotten enough sleep? The same is true for kids.
If you’re in a restaurant or store here in Houston late in the evening and hear kids crying, chances are that lack of sleep is a contributing factor. Help your little ones stick to regular sleep schedules as much as possible.
Give Kids Limited Choices
We have endless options in everything, from food to careers. But kids find this overwhelming, leading to acting out.
Set up your children to behave by giving them a limited number of choices. Instead of asking “What do you want to eat?” ask “Would you rather have carrots or broccoli?”
When you were a kid, a week felt more like years. Children don’t understand adult concepts of time.
Help your child avoid meltdowns by telling them they need to end a play date or go to bed in five minutes, then set a timer. They will follow the cues of the timer and may be less likely to try to negotiate more time.
Build Predictable Schedules
Children behave better when they know what to expect. The more predictable your days, the more it will calm your child.
Have a consistent time for waking and sleeping, with predictable meal times and bedtime rituals as well.
Avoid Over Scheduling Them
You’ll never get bored here in Houston since there’s so much to do. Many parents want to prime their kids for success by putting them in multiple extracurricular activities, from soccer to piano lessons.
While some carefully-chosen activities can help your child become well-rounded, it is possible to get too much of a good thing. Pick one or two activities per child. Let your child have some time to just play and be a kid.
Set a Good Example
Children are like little sponges, and they learn what they see. They often pick up on the behaviors you most wish they wouldn’t.
Be a good example and model the kinds of behaviors you hope to see in them. Watch your stress and speak kindly to others, no matter how frustrated you are.
Give Them Your Undivided Attention
Many children act up because they just want your attention and don’t know how to get it.
Help children behave by giving them your undivided attention for a set period. When they’re trying to talk to you, put your phone down and focus directly on them. When their needs or desires are met, they’re more likely to give you a bit of peace.
Change Your Discipline Approach
We used to think the “time out” was a good way to help children cool off after a meltdown. But children rarely use the time-out period to reflect on their actions. Children are more likely to think about how to get even or to avoid getting caught next time.
Instead of using a time-out, sit with your child after a meltdown and talk to them about their feelings and your expectations.
Engage in Activities Together That Teach Patience
Electronics are great for entertainment. But when you rely on electronics too much to entertain your children, they don’t have opportunities to develop patience.
Work on activities together to help them learn and build skills to become patient, such as doing puzzles, planting flower seeds and watching them grow, or building with blocks or Legos.
Go to Family Counseling
It’s okay to ask for help if you’re still struggling to help your children behave. We aren’t born knowing how to be good parents.
A good therapist can teach you skills for communicating more effectively with your children. Your discipline methods could be unintentionally making things worse. An impartial third party can help you learn different ways of doing things.
Even if the dynamic in your relationship with your children is currently unhealthy, it’s never too late. You can create the kind of relationship that will help your children behave and when you feel ready, click here to schedule an appointment online or call us at 832-559-2622 with one of our Houston counselors. We would love to help guide you on your journey