Whatever the reason is, keep in mind that there is always a reason for misbehavior. You should understand that how you behave when disciplining your child will help to determine how your child is going to behave or misbehave in the future.
Giving In: If you give in after your child repeatedly argues, becomes violent or has a temper tantrum, then he/she will learn to repeat this behavior because he knows you may eventually give in (even if it is only once in a while that you do give in).
Being Firm: If you are firm and consistnt then he/she will learn that it doesn't pay to fight. He/she are eventually going to have to do what they didn’t want to do anyway.
What we are trying to accomplish is:
>>Behave and Listen = Positive Attention on your part (reward good behavior)
>>Misbehaves and Doesn’t Listen = Apply “Discipline Techniques” plus they will have to do what they didn’t want to do in the first place.
Some reasons why children misbehave include having a difficult temperament such as:
Parents often seek help with their child with behavior problems, which can range from minor discipline problems to true defiant behavior.
If you are having difficulty disciplining your child, it is important to remember that you may not be doing anything wrong. All children are different and have different temperaments and developmental levels and a style of discipline that may work with other children may not work with yours. You may not be able to change your child, but you can change the way that you discipline your child and improve their behavior. You should intervene to improve problem behaviors as early as possible, because most children will not outgrow them on their own.
• Be consistent in your methods of discipline and how you punish your child. This applies to all caregivers.
• Set up a daily routine for your younger children and try and stick to it each day. This should include mealtimes, snacks, bath and bedtime.
• Provide a safe environment that encourages exploration, but protects your child. For example, you can prevent your toddler from getting in trouble for opening drawers and cabinets if you have safety locks preventing them from opening.
• Set limits that are appropriate for your child's age and developmental level. Remember that you are in charge and that you will have to say ‘no' to your child sometimes. You should expect your child to cry when he does not get his way. This is a normal way of dealing with frustration in younger children and should be ignored. You should also ignore temper tantrums.
• Do not offer choices in situations where you child has to cooperate with your rules. For example, instead of saying ‘do you want to take a bath?' you should instead say ‘it is time for your bath.'
• Don't give in to your child when he is whining, crying or having a temper tantrum. If you do, it will only teach him that this kind of behavior is an appropriate way to get what he wants.
• Learn to ignore minor, harmless or unimportant misbehaviors, such as fidgeting.
• Make punishments and rewards immediate. Avoid waiting more than a few minutes to provide the consequences of a behavior.
• Avoid repeating commands. You should give a command and if not followed, then you can repeat it once with a warning of what the consequences for noncompliance will be. If not followed, then apply the consequences. Do not continue to repeat the command.
• Don't argue with your child about the punishment. Ignore any protests. You can talk about it later.
• Plan ahead. If you always have difficulty in certain situations, such as shopping or having visitors, go over a plan of action beforehand, which includes what your expectations are and what the consequences of misbehavior will be.
• Be flexible, especially with older children and adolescents. Listen and get your child's input on some rules and punishment.
• Use ‘I' messages, instead of ‘you' messages. For example, say ‘I am upset that you didn't clean up your room,' instead of ‘You made me upset for not cleaning up.' ‘You' statements can seem more accusatory and can lead to arguing.
• After disciplining your child, explain why they were in trouble, the rule and what your expectations are when he misbehaves and explain what the proper behavior would have been.
The first step to better discipline is to learn to encourage good behavior in your child. It is much easier to reinforce good behavior than to have to try and change bad behaviors. Here are some tips for encouraging better behavior:
o Time Out Locations: Child can sit on a time-out chair, spot on the carpet/rug, stand up facing
the corner-away from activities but where you can watch him/her
o Don’t want to go to Time Out: With smaller children, you can count to 3 (1-2-3) and when you
get to 3 if they’re not in time out, their time will be doubled. You can also select an activity or
object you can take away. Tell the child that until they do the time-out, they will not be able to
use the object or engage in the activity (games, TV, computer, favorite toy, favorite something,
o Don’t stay in Time Out: You can take them back to time out but instead of walking away stay in
front of them so they see you are focusing on them and watching them plus let them know you
will withhold privileges (see below) if they get out of time out again-stick to it.
If you are consistent with these Discipline Techniques and stick to what you say, your child will understand that when they don’t listen or misbehave –negative consequences happen. Vice-versa when they listen and behave –positive consequences happen.