Are You Encouraging Bad Behavior in Your Children?
By Sara Butler
Most people would never assume they were encouraging bad behavior in their own children. After all, aren't you the one that'll be mortified in public when they act out or don't follow directions? The truth is you may be doing some things that are doing everything but helping your children to behave and you may not even be aware of it. Here are a few common ways parents encourage bad behavior and don't even know it.
You're Not Consistent
If your kids know that your threats of discipline are empty, then guess what? They're going to know you're not serious about consequences. Even if you do something as simple as telling them no when they ask you for a candy bar at the store and they pitch a fit so you give in, then you're showing them that bad behavior will get them what they want.
You Don't Follow Through
To piggyback onto the consistency issue, you must also realize the importance of following through. When you tell your children that they're going to have a consequence for a specific behavior, you must follow through. Otherwise, they won't do what you ask and you'll only get more frustrated that your child isn't listening to you.
You Excuse the Behavior
If you are continuously giving your child a pass because they're too young, they're hungry, or they're tired, then you're excusing the behavior. While you can't expect your child to always be at their very best, you're not doing them any favors if you're constantly making excuses for them. It's important to encourage them to express their emotions and tell you how they're feeling -- don't assume you already know. When their behavior is challenging, talk it out instead of excusing it away.
Parenting is often an exercise in patience and sometimes that patience wears out -- and yelling happens. Understand that no one expects perfection from you, but if you resort to yelling at your child, then they'll only learn to tune you out. Instead, practice talking to your child in a firm but nice tone. You'll find that you get better results while you strengthen your bond with your child at the same time.
Your ability to teach your children and lead them to healthy behavior, both mentally and physically, is important. That's why you should take the time to think about the parenting techniques and how it may be helping or hurting your kids and their development. Make changes and everyone in the family will be healthier and happier.
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