Questions
Anger in children is a learnt behaviour. They show anger mostly when they observe anger around them. The best way to deal with this is not to be angry but assertive around your children. Discuss her aggressive behaviour with her – what would the aggressive behaviour lead to. How it is not going to help her get her way and how she should have behaved instead. It does entail a lot of hard work on the part of the parents to control anger since it is such a basic human emotion but it is the single most effective way of dealing with your child’s anger.
Threatening children in the name of their class teachers, other members of the house or mythical creature (E.g. Budda Baba) sends a message to them that you do not have any power over them. It might lead to the child not taking you seriously. Hence it is not advisable to threaten children with a third person.
As we have previously mentioned, anger in children is a learnt behaviour. They show anger mostly when they observe anger around them. A very good method to deal with their aggressive behavior is to have clear, agreed upon (by you and your child), consequences of aggressive behaviour which he/she clearly understands. For example, “If you yell, I will not let you watch your favourite cartoon on T.V. for one day. The consequence should be carried out seriously by the parent every time so that the child falls into a healthy behavioral pattern.
Children have little understanding to distinguish healthy from unhealthy behaviour. So when they start using electronic gadgets, they do not know how much usage is appropriate. This is where the role of disciplining comes in. Please know that being disciplined and being strict are two very different things. Strict is when you end up being harsh with your children. Being disciplined on the other hand is a systematic, long term process where you lay down clear rules assertively and calmly for your children. These rules should not be altered for anything because the purpose ends up getting defeated. Just think of it his way, if you have to pay challan every time you don’t wear your helmet, you start forming a habit of wearing it but if the rule starts relaxing and you see fewer traffic police on the road, you end up falling out of that habit.
To answer this, we first need to identify why the child is not listening. Generally kids get into the habit of not listening because they don’t find it worthwhile and when they lose trust in their parents’ words. This happens when you break promises and don’t listen to them. This can also be a consequence of not following up on your own words.
This is not a very common problem which parents face. There is a possibility that the kid has become habituated to you because you wanted to avoid his/her cranky behaviour by over comforting the child. You need to give time to your kid to adjust to other people’s environment as well, irrespective of his/her cranky behaviour. If the issue still persists, it could be indicative of some emotional or adjustment issues which need to be addressed.
Children don’t have an innate tendency to be rigid, but they do have it to be smart. They can develop rigidity if we keep trying to put up with their unreasonable demands. It ends up forming a pattern if we don’t put our foot down assertively with them. The best way to prevent rigidity is to show them that not all of their demands can be met, in an assertive yet calm manner.
An argument always continues with a counter argument. It does irritate us a lot, but for that moment you have to hold your nerve and choose to remain silent and calmly convey that the discussion will continue only after their emotional upset settles. This gives a clear message to the child that raising ones voice doesn’t get things done.
A child’s world is different from ours. Things that seem absolutely non-threatening to us could be terrifying for a child. Acknowledging the child’s fear at this point is very important, irrespective of how silly it sounds to us adults. This acknowledgement should come both in your attitude as well as your behavior. This will help the child trusting you and he/she will believe in your efforts to overcome his/her fear. You can further incorporate behavior techniques to deal with any kind of inhibition or phobias. Systematically exposing your child to the fear provoking situations and helping your child understand that it wasn’t threatening would be really helpful.
Appreciation or any kind of reward is very helpful in developing good habits, behavior and attitude. Till the time your appreciation and rewarding is helping your child feel motivated and develop a positive self esteem, it is considered useful. The time they start taking a different meaning to appreciation e.g. – I am only good others are bad, appreciation becomes unhelpful. Too much appreciation could lead to an exaggerated unrealistic sense of self in a child or the appreciation could lose its importance.
Spending time with your child is a very crucial part of their healthy development. Children do enjoy playing but that isn’t the only thing they feel happy about. An important aspect of playing around with children is giving them company in today’s reduced social environment. To promote social interaction, you have to be good role models of learning for them. If you don’t enjoy playing with them, you could do other things like study together, watch movies with them, eat together with them etc. Instead of playing, you can negotiate doing other activities with them which would make them equally happy.

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