Parenting Connection: Addressing Challenging Behaviors Positively

Parenting Connection


It’s Parenting Connection Tuesday and 6 News is here for you with tips, strategies, and helpful reminders from local child development experts on how we can be better parents and guardians.

Today’s topic: Addressing Challenging Behaviors Positively.

This strategy seems almost impossible when kids do things that make you want to just yell out, but child experts say, those parental responses rarely work over the long-haul and can actually backfire.

Child experts say bad behavior is going to happen, a lot, and that leads to stress. Unfortunately, this stress can lead parents to address challenging behavior in a poor way, like yelling or threatening consequences that are impossible to impose. Child development expert Kendra Moyses says, keep your composure and stay away from empty threats.

“When we are in a stressed out state, we throw out what we call empty threats, like, if you don’t pick up your toys you’re never going to watch tv again. That’s not a consequence a parent will follow up on, especially since that means they can’t ever watch tv while they are in the room.”

Here are four ways to help you address challenging behaviors positively:

*Use a warm, loving voice.
Kids not only respond to what you say, but how you say it — so screaming makes it tougher for kids to listen and comprehend what you want.

*Explain why a behavior isn’t ok.
When kids understand why their actions are wrong, they are better able to stop it from repeating.

*Respond with empathy.
Instead of reacting to challenging behavior with anger — respond calmly and with understanding.

*Use positive language.
Tell your child what you want them to do, instead of threatening with consequences.

Child experts say, when using these methods to correct behavior your kids will respond better to your direction, and will lessen any friction you may create with harsh responses.

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