For a long time now, child development experts have been talking about the change in attitude, behavior, and temperament in children. Parents and teachers are dealing with problems such as disobedience, anti-social behavior, poor school performance, and stunted emotional development among other issues.
More children are on medication for learning, growth and behavioral problems than ever before and it's baffling. Where are we going wrong? What is the right thing to do as parents?
Solutions for indiscipline and antisocial behavior in kids
Children come to us as a clean slate. They are not here for endless pampering, the contributions of parents determine their behavior and outlook in life. As parents, there are a few things we can do to make our children better.
The culture of instant gratification is the cause of many world problems today. We all know that life does not work on the principle of instant gratification. That only works with instant coffee and microwaveable foods.
In the real world, most of what we need we get by being patient, hard work and perseverance. It is crucial that as we raise our children, we show them that they will not always get what they want when they ask for it.
They also need to know that they must maintain discipline and decorum when disappointed or exhibit their displeasure in a calm, logical and mature way. Negotiations are an option, but any unruly behavior is not!
You know what I am talking about! Your kid is bored or feeling energetic and asking for your time. You stick an iPad in their hands or put the TV on for them. At a young age, kids are curious and fearless and ready to learn. This is the best time to get them outside and explore nature with them, teach them new skills or give them a book to read.
It's also the right time to get them out with other children of their age so they can learn to play with others and create healthy friendships. How's your child going to do that while playing games in the house?
As a parent, I dread having my kids bored because they will get antsy, moody and interrupt my 'me time'. I am always rushing to get them something fun to do, but I'm learning not to do that all the time because you know what, boredom is good.
Kids need to know that life is not always fun. Turn boredom time into work time. It's monotonous, but it builds character. Boredom also allows their brain to quiet down and learn to be aware and ok with their thoughts. We want kids to expand their imagination and sense of wonderment and this is very hard to do when you are jumping from one activity to another.
Children thrive on structure because they always know what's coming next. It also minimizes idle time where mischief can occur. Your routine should have specific times set out for every activity. Limit the time they spend on TV and iPads to a few hours a day and schedule enough time for chores and school work.
Set up a menu with nutritious foods, so they always know what they will eat and don't have to turn to junk food. Make sure they have time to clean up and dress up in the morning as well as clean up for bed. Such an approach gives them a sense of balance that they need to live a fulfilling and successful life.
Your child needs to learn how to interact with others from an early age. Words like please, sorry, thank you and excuse me should be a part of his or her vocabulary. Respect for elders and those in authority should also be a top priority.
Also, guide them on how to choose good friends. However, do not forget to teach your kids to protect and defend themselves. Make sure they are free to discuss any discomforting situation with you without judgment. That way you can nip any abuse in the bud.
One of the reasons our children misbehave is lack of support. We deny them a pat on the back or a 'good job' when they do something well. Yet many times when they do something wrong, they get reprimanded and are punished. It lowers their self-esteem and confidence.
Always be quick to give your child a word of encouragement and congratulations when they do something right. Show your appreciation through rewards and hugs. Help them to develop their talents and expose them to information and coaching that will help them get better at what they excel in.
Overall, raising children is not a walk in the park. However, with the positive contributions of parents, we can help children to be healthy and well-adjusted adults. It all starts at home!