“Normal” behavior is dependent upon a lot of variables. Factors such as the child’s age, emotional and physical development, and their personality all weigh into what is normal behavior for any given child. Other factors include what is expected of the child by family and the social and cultural norms for development.
If you’re worried or concerned about your child’s behavior, there are several things you can try to help and guide them in a better direction. Here are a few tips to remember when trying to decide if the behavior is normal or something that should be adjusted.
Decide if it’s a Problem
First, you have to decide if it is a problem behavior or if it’s not a problem at all due to the child’s age. You can then either introduce a new behavior or you can choose to punish or ignore the current behavior to see if it stops.
If you’ve decided that it’s a problem that should be corrected, the best method of changing that behavior is by ignoring it. Now, you should keep in mind that ignoring this behavior will take time for the behavior to stop. It’s not a quick fix solution. If you’re in the need of something a little faster, try the next method.
Before you choose the time-out method, you must have behaviors in mind that are worthy of this method. Behaviors such as aggression and tantrums are usually what causes this method to be put into play. Make sure to choose an area that is not interesting at all to your child. Also, have a plan for when you’re out and about. If a child does something that is not acceptable, give them a warning. If the behavior continues, then utilize the time-out method. Typically, the time spent there is one minute for every year of age they are.
How Do You Encourage Good Behaviors?
What if you’re trying to encourage good behaviors in your children? What are the best rewards for that? Consider these below when you’re trying to encourage or develop good and acceptable behaviors:
- Good marks/bad marks – Consider putting a mark on a chart or even on your child’s hand for every good behavior you see that day. When they’ve’ reached a certain number of marks, you can reward them with a small prize. You can also keep up with negative marks to see if they can get more good than bad in the days’ time.
- Good behavior game chart – Make up a list of good behaviors and post it somewhere in a frequently used location in the home. Then put a star by the behaviors each time you see them. Reward them after a certain number of stars are earned.
- Quiet time – Develop a time where your child plays quietly by themselves or with a sibling for 30 minutes time each day. Make sure to check on them every few minutes depending on age. You can reward with something small every time interval they are playing nicely and quietly.
These are just a few ways you can handle behavior modification. If you have any other questions, please contact Albert Knapp and Associates.