Counteract Hurtful Behavior Choices with Helpful Responses | Celebree School

Teaching your child helpful or expected behavior choices does not have to be a constant battle. The child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers discuss healthy measures to take when your child exhibits hurtful behavior.

Temper tantrums and hurtful behaviors are challenges that all parents face at some point. Too often, in an effort to control the child’s outburst, parents counteract this behavior with their own. In these difficult situations, no one wins. Hurtful behavior choices can be countered without the typical reactionary consequences that many parents turn to.

The following six tips can help put both you and your child on a path to better behavior and in turn, help create a more peaceful connection with your child.

  1. Identify the root cause of the behavior. Is your child participating in the hurtful behavior because they are seeking attention? Is your child feeling jealous? Whenever a child engages in a hurtful behavior, it is the parent’s responsibility to find out why. Once you know the root of the behavior, it is easier to address the behavior in a healthy way and work through the response for next time.
  2. Focus on your reaction before your child’s. Parents should try their best to emulate the behavior they want their child to practice. Staying cool when things are getting heated can be difficult. Yet, leading by example will allow your child to clearly see the “best” way to respond, not react, to an unfavorable situation.
  3. Avoid bribery. In a way, bribery can encourage hurtful behaviors. It is teaching your child that even if they misbehave, they can evade the consequences by “paying off” their wrongdoings. It teaches the child to look for or work toward the reward, not the wanted behavior.
  4. Focus on the behavior you want, not the behavior you don’t. Sometimes when your child is displaying an unwanted behavior such as a tantrum or whining, it pays to ignore and only show attention when they are showing helpful behaviors. This may be a quicker way for your child to understand that they will be heard when they speak respectfully and at an appropriate volume.
  5. Offer a helpful alternative for the hurtful behavior. When children hear “no” or “do not” more often than they hear praise, they tend to tune these words out, thus making less of an impact each time. Instead of telling your child what not to do, explain to them what they should be doing. If they are speaking too loudly in a quiet place, mention to them that you need them to show you their “library voice”.

There is always a reason why a young child misbehaves. By encouraging your child, pointing your attention in the right direction and clearly explaining your expectations, your child will feel a sense of belonging and will desire to make you proud. For more information on encouraging helpful behaviors with your child through Conscious Discipline, contact the child development professionals at Celebree Learning Centers today.