Kids very often turn to inappropriate behaviour for one of a few main reasons: they are bored, they are tired, they are hungry, they want attention or they are unable to express themselves. Therefore to reduce instances of inappropriate behaviour parents need to eliminate opportunities for such behaviour to flourish. To this end parents should watch their children for clues about what triggers inappropriate behaviour and try to eliminate these triggers from their kids’ daily lives.
Eliminating Kids’ Boredom
There’s no way that parents can eliminate kids’ boredom at all times, after all no one can ever know why a particular child has or loses interest in an activity. But parents can keep some tricks up their sleeves for times when children do seem to be at loose ends. Keeping a selection of puzzles and board games for special use only, agreeing to play tag or another outdoor game with the kids and even turning chores into a game by playing ‘beat the clock’ or awarding points for certain tasks may all help beat boredom when it does descend.
Eliminating Kids’ Tiredness
Kids may be tired because they did not get enough sleep, because they are falling ill or for another reason all together. But parents can keep a close eye on their kids’ energy levels and take action before kids’ become exhausted. Naps are an obvious remedy for tiredness, though quite time or alone time can also help to ease the effects of tiredness on a child.
Eliminating Kids’ Hunger
When children are hungry they often lose their patience and inappropriate behaviour results. Parents who recognise the signs of hunger in their children and prepare healthy meals and snacks to address it are parents who eliminate opportunities for inappropriate behaviour to take hold. Fruit and vegetables in particular are easy snacks for hungry children as many of them can be doled out to eat without preparation – skin and all.
Eliminating Kids’ Attention Seeking
When kids feel that they are being neglected they may turn to inappropriate behaviour under the assumption that any attention is good attention. In order to combat this logic parents should show their children attention throughout the day if possible. Implementing alone time for each child with each parent may also help kids feel that their parents are interested in them and their behaviour.
Eliminating Kids’ Inability to Express Themselves
Opportunities for misbehaviour are rife when kids are unable to express themselves. Overwhelming emotions such as frustration, fear or anger may overtake a child, but if (s)he is unable to explain these emotions then (s)he may turn to acting out and acting inappropriately to try to communicate with them. Parents who help their children talk through their emotions, or show them through writing, drawings or other appropriate means thus reduce the likelihood of their children acting inappropriately as a way of dealing with their emotions.
Eliminating opportunities for inappropriate behaviour often means eliminating the situations that trigger inappropriate behaviour from children. Parents who do their best to eliminate boredom, tiredness, hunger, attention seeking and their kids’ desire to express themselves through behaviour may well reap the reward of less inappropriate behaviour from their children.