Bad behaviour is common for adolescent boys and girls. Techniques for stopping bad behaviour may depend upon the behaviour involved and the developmental age of your child. Many techniques you used successfully when your children were young, such as timeout, may no longer work when your son turns nine. Therefore, it is important to try new techniques for disciplining your child when he misbehaves, and rewarding good behaviour.
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Reward Good Behavior
Teach your child how to replace bad behaviour with good. Talk to your child about behaviours that are unacceptable, and encourage good behaviours through recognition and rewards. When your child does something good, like cleaning his room or completing his homework on time, let him know that you notice through verbal praise or a small reward.
Set Realistic Rules
Stem bad behaviour by setting realistic rules for your child. Educate yourself on normal behaviour for your child's developmental level. Get to know your son and his needs so that you can make rules that are appropriate to him as an individual. Then, sit down with your son to create a few ground rules together. Be firm when necessary, but allow your child to take part and feel as though he is a partner in the rule-making process. Together, determine a rationale behind each rule that you assign; understanding the reason for rules will make your child more likely to follow them. Finally, determine punishments for rule-breaking that are fair and that your child understands.
In the heat of the moment, it is sometimes easy to make empty threats to your children that are impossible to follow through with. However, these empty threats undermine your authority, and make it harder for your children to take any punishment you threaten seriously. Only threaten punishments if you are willing to carry them out. Start with small punishments that are manageable. For example, instead of telling your child he cannot use the computer for an entire month, begin by banning his computer use for one day.
Ignore Bad Behavior
Children often use bad behaviour as a way to get attention. Even negative attention, such as being yelled at by a parent may seem like a reward for some children who crave attention. So, one simple method to stop bad behaviour is to ignore it whenever possible. If a child's bad behaviour is dangerous, then obviously intervention is needed. However, for general bad behaviour that does not harm your child or others, simply ignore the behaviour. This method works to gradually stop bad behaviour, and is not a quick fix.
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