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7 Common Acts People Don’t Know Are Turning Kids Into Brats

7 Common Acts People Don’t Know Are Turning Kids Into Brats

What a better place to catch kids misbehaving than on an airplane that is waiting to take off. Here you’ll see a variety of kids showing different kinds of behaviors as a reaction to the small and tight space, fear of flying, strangers around them, and the unfamiliarity of the environment.

You’ll also see different parents doing their best to handle these situations. Sometimes appropriately, but sometimes just enabling the child to misbehave, which makes the viewers cringe. Many of us are guilty of contributing to these kinds of child misbehaviors. Here are some acts that we as adults tend to do, that make kids behave like brats:

1. Trying To Make Them Happy All The Time

Life is not a fairy tale. In reality, it is tough. What a better way to prepare kids for it than by letting them experience life as it is. Sure, we want them to have a fairy tale birthday, or give them candies every time they lose a game with their playmate, but this will make them feel that that there is no room for anything, but the good ones. And then, when they experience anything but happiness, they will act out.

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So just let them experience the ups and downs of their daily activities and interactions with others. From this, they will learn that feelings can get hurt, or that healing comes after getting their knee wounded from running and falling. These things will strengthen their character, which will definitely be of good use when they become adults.

2. Tolerating When Complaining About Authority

It’s understandable. You are a parent, an aunt, a grandma, or someone that has authority over a child. But when the child comes to you complaining about their teacher or another authority, if you immediately assume the role of a protector in shining armor before taking a few minutes to be objective and hear the whole story, then the kid will think that it is ok to question another authority.

Before talking to the teacher or the individual involved, have your kid explain first how he or she feels and what had happened. And then based on it, be objective and do your guardian responsibilities. This lets the child see that authorities are to be taken seriously and are to be respected.

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3. Showing Bad Temper When Dealing With Tantrums

A kid’s bad temper while getting reprimanded is bad enough, and if you double it with your bad temper, then that’s asking for mayhem. Also, you are just reinforcing bad behavior. Remember to be calm when reprimanding kids, and explain why they are getting reprimanded and what your expectations are.

If you don’t, they will keep acting out for the pleasure of watching you scramble and get upset. And they would love to see you in that same situation over and over again, as if it was an accomplishment.

4. Rewarding Everything

Kids can get used to routines. They may get up in the morning, eat breakfast, play with their lego and watch TV. If they refuse to eat breakfast and you give them a reward before or after they eat, they might not eat another meal again without that reward. If they don’t get that reward, they will act out.

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So make sure that when you give a reward, you explain that you are only doing it this time, and that you expect them to do the same task again the next time without the reward.

5. Offering Too Much Help

Offering too much help may breed lazy kids that might turn them into adults that lack motivation for success. We can’t always turn the TV on for them, or put toothpaste on their toothbrush, because if you are not around to do that anymore, then they will act out.

In real life, there will be situations where there can be no one else to depend on, but themselves. The earlier that we teach our kids that they are able to get up and fill that glass with water to quench their own thirst, the better because this translates into the real world they will face in their future.

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6. Letting Them Win All The Time

We can’t be around our kids all the time. If we always make it a point that they take the winning spot every time they are around us, they would think that the world is built like this. But it is not. When they get to the outside world and be with their playmates and experience losing, they will act out because they are not used to it.

In real life, there will be best and second best, and being second best is not necessarily a bad thing. We should teach our kids that defeat breeds resilience and hard work.

7. Having Them Avoiding Conflicts and Confrontations

Shielding kids from conflicts and confrontations can turn into a bad thing, if done too much. If we provide guidance, but ultimately let them deal with their own small conflicts and confrontations, then they become more self-aware and aware of other’s feelings. They will learn to share, play fairly and treat another human that is their equal with care and compassion. This helps them have a smoother relationship with their playmates, and ultimately with their peers as adults.

Kids can be tough and a lot of work to deal with, but we can make it easier. By being mindful of the simple acts that we show them, we can prevent future misbehaviors so they turn out to be good kids, and hopefully become adults that are ready for the real world.

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Sarah Bonander

Writer, Human Resources Professional

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Published on February 11, 2021

3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

3 Positive Discipline Strategies That Are Best For Your Child

I’m old enough to remember how the cane at school was used for punishment. My dad is old enough to think that banning corporal punishment in schools resulted in today’s poorly disciplined youth. With all of this as my early experiences, there was a time when I would have been better assigned to write about how to negatively discipline your child.

What changed? Thankfully, my wife showed me different approaches for discipline that were very positive. Plus, I was open to learning.

What has not changed is that kids are full of problems with impulses and emotions that flip from sad to happy, then angry in a moment. Though we’re not that different as adults with stress, anxiety, lack of sleep, and stimulants such as sugar and caffeine in our diets.

Punishment as Discipline?

What this means is that we usually take the easy path when a child misbehaves and punish them. Punishment may solve an isolated problem, but it’s not really teaching the kids anything useful in the long term.

Probably it’s time for me to be clear about what I mean by punishment and discipline as these terms are often used interchangeably, but they are quite different.

Discipline VS. Punishment

Punishment is where we inflict pain or suffering on our child as a penalty. Discipline means to teach. They’re quite the opposite, but you’ll notice that teachers, parents, and coaches often confuse the two words.

So, as parents, we have to have clear goals to teach our kids. It’s a long-term plan—using strategies that will have the longest-lasting impact on our kids are the best use of our time and energy.

If you’re clear about what you want to achieve, then it becomes easier to find the best strategy. The better we are at responding when our kids misbehave or do not follow our guidance, the better the results are going to be.

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3 Positive Discipline Strategies for Your Child

Stay with me as I appreciate that a lot of people who read these blogs do not always have children with impulse control. We’ve had a lot of kids in our martial arts classes that were the complete opposite. They had concentration issues, hyperactive, and disruptive to the other children.

The easy solution is to punish their parents by removing the kids from the class or punish the child with penalties such as time outs and burpees. Yes, it was tempting to do all of this, but one of our club values is that we pull you up rather than push you down.

This means it’s a long-term gain to build trust and confidence, which is destroyed by constant punishments.

Here are the discipline strategies we used to build trust and confidence with these hyperactive kids.

1. Patience

The first positive discipline strategy is to simply be patient. The more patient you are, the more likely you are to get results. Remember I said that we need to build trust and connection. You’ll get further with this goal using patience.

As a coach, sometimes I was not the best person for this role, but we had other coaches in the club that could step in here. As a parent, you may not have this luxury, so it’s really important to recognize any improvements that you see and celebrate them.

2. Redirection

The second strategy we use is redirection. It’s important with a redirection to take “no” out of the equation. Choices are a great alternative.

Imagine a scenario where you’re in a restaurant and your kid is wailing. The hard part here is getting your child to stop screaming long enough for you to build a connection. Most parents have calming strategies and if you practice them with your child, they are more likely to be effective.

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In the first moment of calm, you can say “Your choice to scream and cry in public is not a good one. It would be best to say, Dad. What can I do to get ice-cream?” You can replace this with an appropriate option.

The challenge with being calm and redirecting is that we need to be clear-minded, focused, and really engaged at the moment. If you’re on your phone, talking with friends or family, thinking about work or the bills, you’ll miss this opportunity to discipline in a way that has long-term benefits.

3. Repair and Ground Rules

The third positive discipline strategy is to repair and use ground rules. Once you’ve given the better option and it has been taken, you have a chance to repair this behavior to lessen its occurrence to better yet, prevent it from happening again. And by setting appropriate ground rules, you can make this a long-term win by helping your child improve their behavior.

It’s these ground rules that help you correct the poor choices of your child and direct the behavior that you want to see.

Consequences Versus Ultimatums

When I was a child and being punished. My parents worked in a busy business for long hours, so their default was to go to ultimatums. “Do that again and you’re grounded for a week,” or “If I catch you doing X, you’ll go to bed without dinner”.

Looking back, this worked to a point. But the flip side is that I remembered more of the ultimatums than the happier times. I’ve learned through trial and error with my own kids that consequences are more effective while not breaking down trust.

What to Do When Ground Rules Get Broken?

It’s on the consequences that you use when the ground rules are broken.

In the martial arts class, when the hyperactive student breaks the ground rules. They would miss a turn in a game or go to the back of the line in a queue. We do not want to shame the child by isolating them. But on the flip side, there should be clear ground rules and proportionate consequences.

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Yes, there are times when we would like to exclude the student from the class, the club, and even the universe. Again, it’s here that patience is so important and probably impulse control too. With an attainable consequence, you can maintain trust and you’re more likely to get the long-term behavior that you’re looking to achieve.

Interestingly, we would occasionally hear a strategy from parents that little Kevin has been misbehaving at home with his sister or something similar. He likes martial arts training, so the parent would react by removing Kevin from the martial arts class as a punishment.

We would suggest that this would remove Kevin from an environment where he is behaving positively. Removing him from this is likely to be detrimental to the change you would like to see. He may even feel shame when he returns to the class and loses all the progress he’s made.

Alternatives to Punishment

Another option is to tell Kevin to write a letter to his sister, apologizing for his behavior, and explaining how he is going to behave in the future.

If your child is too young to write, give the apology face to face. For the apology to feel sincere, there is some value to pre-framing or practicing this between yourself and your child before they give it to the intended person.

Don’t expect them to know the ground rules or what you’re thinking! It will be clearer to your child and better received with some practice. You can practice along the lines of: “X is the behavior I did, Y is what I should have done, and Z is my promise to you for how I’m going to act in the future.” You can replace XYZ with the appropriate actions.

It does not need to be a letter or in person, it can even be a video. But there has to be an intention to repair the broken ground rule. If you try these strategies, that is become fully engaged with them and you’re still getting nowhere.

But what to do if these strategies do not work? Then there is plenty to gain by seeking the help of an expert. Chances are that something is interfering or limiting their development.

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This does not mean that your child has a neurological deficiency, although this may be the root cause. But it means that you can get an objective view and help on how to create the changes that you would like to see. Remember that using positive discipline strategies is better than mere punishment.

There are groups that you can chat with for help. Family Lives UK has the aim of ensuring that all parents have somewhere to turn before they reached a crisis point. The NSPCC also provides a useful guide to positive parenting that you can download.[1]

Bottom Line

So, there your go, the three takeaways on strategies you can use for positively disciplining your child. The first one is about you! Be patient, be present, and think about what is best for the long term. AKA, avoid ultimatums and punishment. The second is to use a redirect, then repair and repeat (ground rules) as your 3-step method of discipline.

Using these positive discipline strategies require you to be fully engaged with your child. Again, being impulsive breaks trust and you lose some of the gains you’ve both worked hard to achieve.

Lastly, consequences are better than punishment. Plus, avoid shaming, especially in public at all costs.

I hope this blog has been useful, and remember that you should be more focused on repairing bad behavior because being proactive and encouraging good behavior with rewards, fun, and positive emotions takes less effort than repairing the bad.

More Tips on How To Discipline Your Child

Featured photo credit: Leo Rivas via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] NSPCC Learning: Positive parenting

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