Helene Goldnadel


How to Deal With Negative Child Attitude Issues?

It's important to deal with child attitude problems as soon as they come up, so you can avoid more serious issues later on. Children will misbehave from time to time, especially when they are at an age when they are in the process of discovering themselves and what they are capable of doing. The problem with chronic attitude issues, however, is that this usually grows worse with time.


First of all, understand that all parents are going through the challenge of tackling child attitude issues. So you're really not alone no matter how much it seems so. The first lesson in dealing with a negative child attitude is that you need to look into your own personality. Children learn by modeling so they tend to pick up mannerisms from people around them, particularly from those they trust. So as Helene Goldnadel says, be a good role model to your child, especially in terms of how you handle anger, frustrations and other negative emotions.


Tantrums, for instance, are usually caused by a child's frustration, hunger, fatigue or inability to express his feelings. A child has yet to learn how to tell people how he feels and may resorts to outbursts to relieve stress or get negative attention. If you react to this frustration with your own annoyance, you will only encourage a bad attitude. Instead of meeting the anger head on, maintain a calm front. Yes, whining and arguing can try your patience but that doesn't mean that it's okay to act out your frustrations on your child. Handling a child with attitude means teaching him how to express himself appropriately.


It's also important to be more attentive to your child because some child attitude problems are caused by the desire for attention. The kid feels that he doesn't get much attention, but when he misbehaves, adults take notice. Ask yourself if you need to spend more time with your children. Allot an hour or two every day, even if it's just before bedtime to spend some quality time with your kids. Talk to them about what they did at school or how their day went. A child with attitude may do better at home and at school if he knows he has someone to talk to about his day.


Typically, child attitude issues are managed by a system of reward and punishment. If you're going to give consequences for poor behavior, make sure that the consequences are swift and appropriate to the behavior. Children are more likely to behave properly when they know you mean business and when they know which privileges will be lost if they behave in certain ways. Make sure you discuss the behavior with your child, listen to his side of the story (if you did not witness it) and ask him if he had a chance to do things over again, how he could have made a better choice.


If you've tried these things and are still met by a child with attitude or outright defiance, an at home behavioral program can help. It will teach you the skills to help you turn around your child's behavior by showing you how to set standards of behavior in your home and getting your child to comply with them, while still supporting your child's striving toward independence. By fixing child attitude in your home, rather than involving a therapist, you will teach your child that you can work on and overcome problem behavior together while fostering greater closeness and mutual respect.

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