To a small child, the world is a daunting place. He will learn about his environment only through trial and error. Often times, this will result in behavior problems that you may tempted to ignore.
The following are some common behavior problems that you should NOT ignore with suggestions on how to deal with them:
Child constantly interrupts you while you’re talking
Your child may be very excited to tell you or ask you something, but allowing her to interrupt you while you’re having a conversation with someone else does not teach him about how to be patient or considerate. Instead, he may think he is entitled to other’s attention and will not be able to handle frustration.
Solution: Before you make a call or visit a friend, speak to your child about being quiet and not interrupting you. Settle him into an activity. If he starts interrupting you during your phone call, point to the chair or tell him to sit quietly until you are finished. Later, tell him that he will not get what he’s after if he keeps interrupting you.
Plays too roughly
You know you have to intervene if your child punches a friend, but do not disregard subtle aggressive acts such as shoving or pinching. Failing to intervene when rough behavior is displayed means this may get entrenched later on. It sends the message that hurting others is acceptable.
Solution: Confront aggression as it happens. Pull your child aside and ask him, “When you punched Arun, it hurt him. How would you like it if Arun punched you?” Explain to him that hurting others is unacceptable and hold consequences such as playtime is over.
Pretending not to hear you
When you ask your child repeatedly to do something and he persists in ignoring your request sends the message that it is okay to disregard you and that he is running the entire show. Tuning out a parent’s request is power play. If this behavior continues, the child will become controlling and defiant.
Solution: Instead of speaking to your child from across the room, walk over to him and speak to him directly. Have him look at you while you’re speaking and get him to respond by saying “yes mom”. You can also turn off the TV to get his attention. If all this doesn’t work, implement a consequence.
Displaying a little attitude
You might be tempted to think that it is okay and even cute if your child rolls his eyes or speaks to you in a snippy tone. However such examples of sassy behavior begins during the preschool years and is the child’s attempt to test parents’ reaction. Some parents mistakenly assume it is a passing phase but if you fail to confront it, the child will grow up to be disrespectful and will have a hard time with maintaining friendships.
Solution: Parents can either point out the behavior and say, “When you roll your eyes, it looks like you don’t like what i’m saying”. You may also refuse to speak to them and walk away by saying, “when you roll your eyes like that I won’t listen to you. Speak to me when you are ready to talk nicely”.
Behavior problems are common amongst children, but they must be dealt with quickly and appropriately.