Basic Behavior Solutions for Kids and Teens

Do you feel like your child is the boss? Do you feel like you have to tell them time and time again to pick up their toys, and do their chores? This is a common occurrence in many homes but unfortunately this often leads to bad behavior and insecurity in children. When parents provide consistent boundaries for their children, children feel secure and confident. Transitioning from children being the boss to parents being the boss can be stressful but the benefits are worth it. You and your child will feel more comfortable in your home and have an increased self esteem.

How to get your children to listen:

Give your instruction

ex-put away your toys

Withhold reinforcements until task is completed. Withholding reinforcement is key to this being effective.

ex: no snacks, toys, TV or any fun thing until the child completes the desired action

If your child screams, hits, kicks or does any other undesirable behavior make sure you are not reinforcing it by allowing it to be effective. If your child yells and screams and then you give them what they want, they are likely to do that behavior again.

What to do when a child disobeys or breaks a rule:

When a child disobeys determine the severity of the action and assign chores accordingly

Ex: child lies- child has to scrub the kitchen floor and no reinforcements until task is complete

Ex: child skips school- child has to sweep drive way, organize the closet and clean the car and they may not socialize, eat snacks, have electronics, or anything fun until task is complete (no reinforcements)

Be prepared for children to challenge you on this if they are not used to you being this assertive. Do not be intimidated if your child acts out initially. This is common but with consistency the behavior will go away. It is important you follow through with this. It will not be effective if you are inconsistent. Remember it will be stressful at first but once your children understand this is the new normal and boundaries are clear, your home will be more at peace. With this method there is no need to ever raise your voice or argue. The rules are black and white.

At time behavior problems can get complicated and help is needed. Do not be afraid to seek out a professional if you are feeling overwhelmed with your child's behaviors.