Parenting is never easy; being a parent to a child with behavior issues takes it to a whole new level. If you have one of those kids, know that you are not alone. At Burrus Family Child Care, we believe in equipping parents with the tools and strategies they need to help their kids better manage their behavioral challenges.
Every parent knows that the dreaded drop-off morning routine can go sour if your child doesn’t behave as expected. It’s understandable—daycare is a new place with a mix of old and new faces. But if you start teaching your child from an early age how to behave in the daycare setting, it will help them adjust better and get along with the other kids better.
In our experience working with children in child care, we’ve found that there are specific strategies parents can utilize to help their kids better manage their aggressive and other behavioral challenges.
The following parenting tips are just some of the things parents can do at home to help their kids learn how to manage their behavior better and stay out of trouble.
1. Don’t Over-Protect Your Child
It’s only natural to protect your child from every bump, bruise, and boo-boo. However, you are not allowing children to learn how to manage their feelings and behavior. We always commit to doing what we can to keep our kids safe; however, we must also allow them to learn right from wrong and develop coping skills.
2. Know what you can control and what you can’t
Know factors you can control and what you can’t. Parenting a child with behavioral challenges is a roller coaster ride. Sometimes you’re too high; sometimes you’re too low. The key to managing your emotional roller coaster is to know what you can change and what you can’t.
As parents, we are responsible for our children’s safety and well-being, but we are not responsible for their misbehavior. We cannot control how our son or daughter reacts in certain situations. No matter how hard we try, we sometimes find ourselves in a situation where our kids will misbehave no matter what we say or do.
In those situations, remember, you don’t have to control everything. You can’t control another person’s behavior, and you shouldn’t feel responsible for doing so. Of course, it would be better if your son or daughter behaved properly every time but know that there are situations where your children will misbehave as they learn and grow.
3. Allow Kids to Experience Consequences
You can encourage your kid to be suitable by showing them that taking a seat in the corner or going to their room works! Even better, make it painful for them by making them wear a time out. It will usually create an immediate consequence that is much more effective than yelling at them. It will work exceptionally well with the most stubborn child who stubbornly persists in misbehaving.
4. Reward Good Behavior & Consistency
Kids respond well to consistency (in a positive sense); this means they like to know what is expected of them. So, as a parent, you should establish some basic rules and then reward your child for following them. Remember that when it comes to rewarding good behavior, consistency is vital. Also, it is essential to recognize your child’s positive behaviors as soon as they occur; the sooner you do this, the better because kids can get used to something right if it does so consistently.
5. Be aware of your child’s triggers
Your child’s behavior will be directly related to the difference between what they can see, hear, smell, and touch compared to what they can’t see, hear, smell, and communicate. For example, in the mornings, when you are getting ready in the bathroom with all the doors closed and your child is on the other side of the door in their bed.
It is a trigger for them because they don’t know what is going on. They want to know why you closed them out from their world (your bathroom). Now they are figuring out what you are doing that requires you to close the door. What they can’t see, smell or touch is that you’re getting ready to leave in the morning.
Let them feel that you are aware of their triggers and why they may be happening. It will take their head off and allow them time to get on track instead of worrying and having a meltdown.
6. Don’t Compromise Your Standards At Home or Away
Parents need to set high standards at home and in child care. Often, when parents are working full-time jobs and are away from their children during the day, they make compromises that they don’t allow at home.
For example, a parent may say to herself during her day that she won’t be punitive with her kid in the child care center because she doesn’t want to seem “too strict.” A parent may think that since he isn’t at home during the day to help manage her child’s behaviors, he can be more lenient with consequences and punishments in the hopes that it will help his child have a good day.
This kind of thinking is not productive for your child. In some cases, it can make your child’s behavior worse.
7. Give your child enough attention and have regular interaction with them
Most importantly, parents need to spend one-on-one time with their children. Periodically take a few minutes out of your day to engage with your child. Take turns asking each other questions and listen to what your child says. It helps kids feel the security of knowing that they are important and loved by their parents and can help them appropriately manage their feelings.
8. Understand the parent-teacher dynamic
As a parent to a kid with behavioral challenges, you likely feel as though you are under constant scrutiny. You are made to feel like you are doing something wrong. You may feel as though your child’s teacher is just looking for an opportunity to ditch your child or make their life harder.
Remember: it is hard! Your child’s teacher is not out to get your child or you. If anything, they want your child to succeed and be accepted by the other children in the classroom. It can be challenging and frustrating for parents, as it is for teachers. Be nice. They may or may not reciprocate the kind gesture.
When you are in class with your kid, don’t take it personally to act out or are struggling with challenging behaviors. Ask yourself: do I want my child acting this way? Do I want him or her to work at school? The chances are that other kids in the class are experiencing similar challenges and frustrations.
9. Let your child save face
It is essential to be attentive to your child’s needs. For instance, if your child gets upset because they lost at a game of checkers, you might avoid saying things like, “Just let it go already.” Instead, try something like, “That must hurt. It’s okay to feel mad about getting beat at checkers”, but you can make other kids feel scared and bad when you yell and scream that way. I know it’s hard to control yourself, but I need you to try. You can show how upset you are by saying, ‘UGH! I wanted to win!’ instead of screaming and cursing. Let’s play another game after a little while.”
10. Seek Outside Help
If your child has a behavioral or academic issue, the first step is to seek a professional’s help. Many times, kids need some extra guidance and attention to get them back on track. If you don’t have ample time or want to get into it yourself, call a behavior expert. Such experts are knowledgeable enough to teach you a few basic strategies that can be used at home in many cases.
11. Establish Clear Expectations
Parents and caretakers must be on the same page with their expectations for behavior in child care. For example, if a parent expects the child to behave honorably, they mustn’t overreact or punish when they fail to meet these expectations. If they do, this will only lead to more conflict with the staff member(s) and a higher incidence of negative behaviors.
12. Know When to Use Time Out & When To Use Other Strategies
There are a variety of reasons parents utilize time-out. While time-out intends to manage negative behaviors, it can also help frustrated parents take their anger out on their children. Suppose your child persists in actions that negatively impact his/her learning and behavior. In that case, you may need to increase your strategy’s intensity by removing privileges from your child or moving him/her to a different setting where more constant monitoring is possible.
We’re happy to share our experience with behavioral interventions and strategies that have successfully worked with our child care clients. If your child possesses any of the above-noted behaviors or needs a little extra support for any other reason, we encourage you to contact us. We can help you develop a plan to get your children back on track. If you know of anyone who seeks help managing their child’s behavior, please share this article with them and encourage them to contact us if they have any questions or concerns.
Here at Burruss Family Child Care, we offer the utmost child care to foster your kids’ behavior. Should you be looking for a reliable child care service in Redding California, call us now at 530-227-3114.