Children naturally absorb a lot of the behaviors they see around them and can pick up negative habits from school, their other parent’s home, from friends, tv shows, etc. The habits they pick up on, good and bad, are out of your control.
So, what can you do to deal with the bad habits your children develop?
Try these tips:
1. Be patient. This tip might come as a surprise to many parents but taking immediate action can sometimes do more harm than good.
- Accept that all children develop bad habits early in life, so try not to make a big deal out of it initially. Try to create a relaxed environment.
- Most times, your child will outgrow bad habits independently, without your help. So, do something by doing nothing.
2. Try to understand your child. After a while, when waiting it out doesn't work, you can try exploring the reasons behind the behavior. Children are innocent and like to explore the world around them.
- Some habits in children can stem from a stressful school environment, while for others, a chaotic family can cause bad behavior. Getting to the root of your child's issue will help you understand these habits.
- For example, a child doesn't develop a nose-picking habit only to annoy you. They pick their nose because of the nagging irritation of the crust in their nose.
- Once you know the root of the bad habit, you can start making positive changes to help your child break their bad behavior and stop picking their nose.
3. Avoid giving attention to the negative behavior. Children are attention-seeking creatures. Sometimes, a child picks up a habit to get your attention, not because it's an actual habit.
- If you find that this is the root of their practice, the best option is to ignore it at the outset. Any attention you give will only encourage them to continue doing it.