Top 5 Little Behaviour Problems You Shouldn’t Ignore!
Ignoring mild misbehavior is a legitimate parenting strategy. It shows your little one that his antics won’t get a reaction, which means he’ll be less likely to repeat that behaviour in the future. However, while you can selectively ignore some behaviors, others simply shouldn’t be ignored. Without an appropriate intervention they can turn into much larger problems down the road. Keep a lookout for some of these small-but-significant behavioral issues that should be corrected as soon as possible. We have made a top 5 little behaviour problems you shouldn’t ignore!
1. Interrupting When You’re Talking
Your child may be incredibly excited to tell you something or ask a question, but allowing her to butt in to your conversations doesn’t teach her how to be considerate of others or occupy herself when you’re busy. The next time you’re about to make a call or visit with a friend, tell your child that she needs to be quiet and not interrupt you. Then settle her into an activity or let her play with a special toy that you keep tucked away. If she tugs on your arm while you’re talking, point to a chair or stair and tell her quietly to sit there until you’re finished. Afterward, let her know that she won’t get what she’s asking for when she interrupts you.
2. Pretending Not to Hear You
Telling your child two, three, even four times to do something she doesn’t want to do, such as get into the car or pick up her toys, sends the message that it’s okay to disregard you and that she and not you is running the show. Instead of talking to your child from across the room, walk over to her and tell her what she needs to do. Have her look at you when you’re speaking and respond by saying, “Okay, Mommy.” Touching her shoulder, saying her name, and turning off the TV can also help get her attention. If she doesn’t get moving, impose a consequence.
3. Exaggerating the Truth
It may not seem like a big deal if your child says he made his bed when he barely pulled up the covers, or if he tells a friend that he’s been to Walt Disney World when he’s never even been on a plane, but it’s important to confront any type of dishonesty head-on. When your child fibs, sit down with him and set the record straight. Say, “It would be fun to go to Disney World, and maybe we can go some day, but you shouldn’t tell Charlie that you’ve been there when you really haven’t.” Let him know that if he doesn’t always tell the truth, people won’t believe what he says. Look at his motivation for lying, and make sure he doesn’t achieve his goal. For example, if he said that he brushed his teeth when he didn’t, have him go back and brush them.
4. Playing Too Rough
You know that you have to step in when your child punches a playmate, but you shouldn’t disregard more subtle aggressive acts, like shoving his brother or pinching a friend. If you don’t intervene, rough behavior can become an entrenched habit by age 8. Confront aggressive behavior on the spot. Pull your child aside and tell him, “That hurt Janey. How would it feel if she did that to you?” Let him know that any action that hurts another person is not allowed. Before his next playdate, remind him that he shouldn’t play rough, and help him practice what he can say if he gets angry or wants a turn. If he does it again, end the playdate.
5. Helping Himself to a Treat
It’s certainly convenient when your child can get his own snack or pop in a DVD, but letting him have control of activities that you should regulate doesn’t teach him that he has to follow rules. Establish a small number of house rules, and talk about them with your child often for example: you have to ask whether you can have sweets because that’s the rule. If your child turns on the TV without permission, for instance, tell him to turn it off and say, “You need to ask me before you turn on the television.” Stating the rule out loud will help him internalize it.