Positive Ways to React When Your Child Misbehaves

As a mommy to a one-year-old, I know that my child misbehaves.

I sometimes wonder if it’s way too soon to introduce the concept of discipline.

Today, I will share with you 5 positive ways to react when your child misbehaves.

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Could there really be a way to introduce him to the idea of ‘yes and no’ or ‘right and wrong’ at such a young age? Needless to say, I was determined to find a way to gently nudge him in the right direction.

Research shows that how we react to our children’s behaviour has a profound effect on how they behave in the future.

Reacting too strongly (or not strongly enough) to misbehaviour can lead to repeated issues which can last indefinitely.

I mean, think about it. they look up to us, not only to tell them how to but also to teach them by modelling the desired behaviour.

If you’ve been wondering whether or not to introduce the concept of discipline to your little ones, consider the following advice to correct your child’s behaviour, but remain a positive influence at the same time.

This week, I am honoured to have a guest blog written by Kermilia.  She’s the mama behind The Millennial Stay-At-Home Mom blog. Read the bio at the end of the post to find out more about her. Connect with her on her blogtwitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

5 Things to do when your child misbehaves

1. Keep Your Cool

I know we all have had days where we’ve had it ‘up to here’ with our kids. However, the most important thing to keep in mind when your child misbehaves is to remain calm.

Losing your cool while trying to improve your child’s behaviour doesn’t set a positive example of how to act in stressful situations.

In fact, it does the exact opposite.

Children are extremely observant and the last thing you would want is for your child to become anxious or timid around you due to fear that you’ll lose your cool.

Instead, if you’re feeling upset or overwhelmed with your child, try talking it out with them. I’m a huge advocate for verbally communicating with young children.

Baby talk is cute and all but by communicating with them in a normal tone of voice works wonders for their rapidly developing language and speech skills.

2. Don’t Highlight Misbehaviour

Children often act out because they are looking for attention, whether it’s positive or not. If yelling or throwing a tantrum proves to be a good way to get your attention, they will undoubtedly keep doing it whenever they see fit.

Of course, you can’t ignore misbehaviour completely – you need to make sure your child stays safe. But, try to avoid showing extra attention to them because of negative actions.

For example, if your child throws a tantrum because he wants a toy at the store, try telling him that you won’t talk about it until he calms down. If he continues to cry, browse the store as usual and remind him that you won’t talk about it until he calms down.

As tempting as it may be to yell or ‘nip it in the bud’ to avoid a crying spell in the store, I’ve found that my son calms down much quicker when I ignore his misbehaviour and suggest an alternative instead

3. Take Special Notice of Good Behavior

It’s been found that children react very positively to encouragement, affirmation, and approval. Not only that – praise also makes your child feel more capable, which is good for self-esteem.

Therefore, when a child misbehaves, you want to make sure that you are intentional about giving praise to your children for good habits and behaviour.

If your child gets no encouragement or attention from positive actions, they may turn to misbehaviour in order to feel noticed.

4. Stay Firm

Usually, when parents clearly and firmly demand that their child do something, it’s safe to say that the child generally knows that there aren’t any other options.

However, this isn’t always the case.

Nevertheless, it’s important to use a calm tone of voice when speaking with your child but remember to remind them that you mean what you say.

Of course, being firm doesn’t mean yelling or being mean to your children.

It just means not to give in to them so easily.

5. Learn to Accept Mistakes

Children make mistakes in how they behave, just like adults sometimes do. It’s important to remember that kids aren’t tiny grown-ups and they lack much of the knowledge and experience that many adults have picked up over the years.

Misbehaviour may not be desirable, but it is a perfectly normal part of being a kid.

By modelling desired behaviour for your child, rather than simply scolding them for bad behaviour, you help to make sure they understand what they can do to behave better from that point forward.

Need More?

As parents, it’s our job to teach our children how to navigate the world around them. For free parenting resources, click here.

Reacting negatively to misbehaviour can affect your kids during their childhood and later when they become parents themselves.

However, if you apply the above tips, and remain patient and positive, you can be sure that your kids will develop positive habits too.

In the comments below, share how you react when your kids misbehave. Please share this post with family and friends.

Positive Ways to React When Your Child Misbehaves
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16 responses to “Positive Ways to React When Your Child Misbehaves”

  1. Ruthie Ridley Avatar
    Ruthie Ridley

    More parents need to read this…. so good.

  2. Marie Ericson Avatar
    Marie Ericson

    I agree! Trying to remove your self (safely)and not give attention to the tantrum is very effective!

  3. Sam | Away She Went Avatar

    I don’t have kids yet, but these tips would even work for our dogs!

  4. Nicole Saunders Avatar
    Nicole Saunders

    I don’t have kids, but I think these tips are helpful even as an aunt! I usually start laughing and I know that’s not good! #auntprobs

  5. Christina Price Avatar
    Christina Price

    These tips were very helpful. As a teacher, I can apply these, especially the one about keeping my cool. It is so important because you are right that it models acceptable behavior towards stressful situations. Thanks for posting!

  6. Tiffany Houseman Avatar
    Tiffany Houseman

    I love this! Great reminders for me as my little 2.5 yo man is at this point. I carry a lot of negatives from my childhood and it is ever present in my mind that I need to change the mold so my babies don’t have to! <3 And Kermilia, I thought I was the only mama you'd meet who doesn't drink coffee! 😉 So excited to know of another! <3 Lol

  7. Melissa Gendreau Avatar
    Melissa Gendreau

    These are great tips. When I am providing parent education to my clients I remind them – Support the child, validate the emotion, and teach to the behavior – in that order!

  8. Diana Abe Avatar
    Diana Abe

    These 5 tips are really informative and great!

  9. Logan Cantrell Avatar

    This is so informative! I struggle to keep my cool sometimes, but I do think it helps tremendously!

  10. Such a Time as This Avatar

    Awesome info. Discipline isn’t always easy especially when kids have different personalities and react to different things in various ways. It’s good to plan, though.

  11. Jessica | Petite Style Script Avatar

    Great tips, I’ll pass along to my sister with 3 kids!

  12. Rachael Avatar
    Rachael

    Awesome tips! I love that you talked about the more gentle parenting techniques and really highlighted that “misbehavior” is still totally expented and normal at such a young age!

  13. Jenna Urben Avatar
    Jenna Urben

    I don’t have kids yet but this is really good advice

  14. Emerson-Danielle Miller Avatar
    Emerson-Danielle Miller

    This was a very good article. With a 3, 2, and 1-year-old, you can imagine the behaviors. This was a friendly reminder to stay on the right path!

  15. Kendra Canfield Avatar
    Kendra Canfield

    This is really great advise. It’s hard to do sometimes, especially with three kids under five! But it’s so important to their future.

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