Another Way To Say When It Comes To Struggles of Parenting: Dealing With "Destructive" Behavior

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Struggles of Parenting: Dealing With "Destructive" Behavior

It is human nature for children to misbehave at times. This attitude is a form of exploration into the unknown, to know oneself and one’s environment. How so? These actions lead to consequences, and these consequences are another way of learning.

But there will be a difference between normal and abnormal behavior. How quickly you can recognize the signs and fix the problem. Below, we will discuss about:

  • Types of children’s behavior

  • Parenting styles and how it affects the child,

  • nature and/or nurture, and

  • Possibility of eliminating bad behavior.

What you need to know about your child’s behavior

Why is my child acting “like this”? Is it just a phase or a serious sign of abnormality? When do you know it’s too much? These are some of the questions parents ask during doctor visits.

First, you need to know the difference between normal and abnormal behavior. Children, especially young children, are in the process of learning what they like and what they don’t like. Here they show independence and ability to express themselves through actions.

Incidentally, children do not know how to control their emotions. They are still learning how to be empathetic and patient. Now, not all kids are the same, some can control their emotions early but others need parental guidance.

Abnormal behavior is when your child has excessive behavior. Does he/she throw tantrums more than three times a day? Or maybe, your child regularly hits, bites and screams at everyone? There are cases in which your child does not respond well to discipline.

To know when to tolerate a certain behavior, you need to be aware of three types of behavior:

1. general

This kind of behavior is the norm or acceptable attitude in the society. This can include a child’s ability to clean up toys, potty-training, making friends, and more.

2. Occasionally

This is behavior that is only acceptable under certain circumstances. Such as having a tantrum during an uncomfortable event, not playing or eating when a child is sick, etc.

3. Destroyer

A child’s behavior that is harmful to himself or others. These include hitting other children, acting out in public, yelling or cursing at parents, etc.

A parent’s response leads to a child’s response

Do you think your child doesn’t listen to you? Or does he/she react differently than you expect him/her to? From the title itself, have you reflected on the type of reaction you give to your child?

A child’s behavior is a reflection of the parent’s reaction. The parenting style you use can have a positive or negative effect on your child. How so? Because the way you react is often copied by your child.

When a child sees how you talk to your spouse, your child will do the same. Do you have doubts?

Well, what kind of food does your child eat? One parent is an omnivore while the other parent is a vegetarian. A child will soon think that it is better not to eat vegetables because one parent does not.

Now, how can you make your child like to eat vegetables when you are not eating them? Isn’t this hypocrisy? When it comes to attitude, your reaction takes a toll. Below are three types of responses:

1. Ignorance as a form of discipline

Parents believe that ignoring their child is the best form of parenting. In a way, this can be useful but only in certain situations. Ignoring your child will send the message that you don’t tolerate his behavior or that you won’t “buy” it.

This is the wrong way to use it when your toddler is aggressively pulling your hair or won’t share his toys. If you use this type of parenting style, your toddler will learn that continuing the activity is okay/not bad.

2. active control

Being too controlling can backfire. If you are strict and tell your child every time he/she makes a mistake, they will become passive and rebellious. Yes, it can be good temporarily because your child will want to avoid any punishment.

But sooner or later, your child won’t follow your orders or hide secrets from you. A harsh parenting style can also develop a dependent child with low self-esteem.

3. Two-way negotiation

Remember that your toddler is adjusting to a new phase, a phase of learning more about what he/she feels and wants. If your child misbehaves, you say “No! Go and take your time now!” Instead, resort to saying, “No, that’s not the right way.”

A “time out” is only necessary when your child repeats a particular misbehavior. So, as a way to avoid any kind of recurrence, you need to make sure to convey a message that does not make the child feel accused or condemned.

As a parent, be sure to control your emotions and expressions so that your child’s attitude is not negatively affected.

Nature or Nurture: Which Is Most Influential?

Many people debate the influence of environment and genetics on a person’s behavior. Nature known as heredity is seen as the reason why one person reacts differently than others. Whereas Nurture is also known as environmental influence.

What do you believe? Does what a person experiences in his/her daily life affect behavior and/or attitudes? Or, is it because of what he/she inherited from his/her ancestors?

Nature

There are studies measuring the effect of both factors. One case is of twins who were separated as soon as they came out of the mother’s womb. Years later, they were reunited and the twins had a lot in common in their attitudes.

Now the environment they live in is different from each other. One went to a prestigious college with her own room while the other was left in a nursery, shared a room with 5 kids and attended a public school. But why the same attitude?

This is due to genetics. Heredity plays a major role in a person’s health. Attitudes can go down, just like illnesses and physical attributes.

nurturing

Meanwhile, when it comes to the environment, you have to consider several factors:

  • Interact with different types of people,

  • Family circle and

  • Place or type of house.

Culture is a good example of environmental influence. Each group has different rules and beliefs, people follow these rules through observation. When a group of people look up while walking, others see too and this is what we call the bystander effect.

If a child is taught to clean his/her room every day, the child will adapt to it until he/she grows up. Rather one who has not been taught hygiene.

Now, how do we relate this to the child’s destructive behavior? Do not limit yourself to one side, be sure to study and find possible reasons for your children’s behavior.

Is it because you were too strict in teaching your toddler (environment)? Or maybe, your child has some kind of disorder (heredity)?

Is it too late to correct bad behavior?

Studies have found that once a person ages between 30 and 40, it becomes difficult to change their behavior. This means that it is too late for them to correct themselves because they have become accustomed to a certain method.

One way to “change” this is by limiting her choices, for example, quoting someone who is an impulsive shopper. The truth is, she won’t be able to completely eliminate that behavior, all she’s done is divert her attention to something else. It is different for children.

Toddlers between the ages of 18 months and 3 years are still “discovering” who they are. Therefore, there may be cases when the child suddenly throws a tantrum or throws away every toy he has.

Unless you put up with this kind of behavior, it won’t last forever. Is it possible to fix this? Of course! How?

1. Not “embarrassing”.

Embarrassing your child in front of friends and family is a form of embarrassment. Nowadays, some parents post their “punishments” as a way to teach their children a lesson.

Shaming will do nothing good for your parent-child relationship, it will only create conflict.

2. Punishment is not the answer

Some parents use belts, clothes hangers and sometimes brooms to punish their children. Other forms of punishment are verbal, from yelling to pointing fingers. Once a child sees a form of violence, they will do the same to something/someone else.

3. Step into your child’s shoes

Before you yell or do something rash, step into your child’s shoes and see their perspective. How will they feel when you react in a certain way? People say that when you blame/correct a lot, children tend to repeat the same behavior.

The best way to teach your child how to behave is by being a good example. It starts with you, you define your child’s behavior.

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