Edufrienz

Dealing with Negative Habits in Children

The formative development of our children is infuenced by the home and school environment where they spend the most time.

They can form habits through observation, routines, repetitions, and environmental cues. Children learn by observing the behavior and interaction of things that will progressively become habits.

We may only accept basic habits, like washing our hands before meals. However, dealing with their negative habits and becoming good or better is possible.

Consider the following:

  1. Be patient. It is easier said than done. Many parents jump in whenever they see their children doing something that they do not like or agree to curb future occurrences.

Sometimes, we must accept that all children will develop bad habits. Try to create a relaxed environment and explain to them. There are other times they will outgrow bad habits independently, without your help. So, do something by doing nothing.

  1. Try to understand your child. They are innocent and like to explore around. After a while, when waiting doesn’t work, you can explore the reasons behind the behaviour.

Certain habits were cultivated from a stressful school environment, while a chaotic family can cause bad behaviour in others. It can be easy to infuence them upon knowing the underlying reasons. Getting to the root of your child’s issues will help you understand these habits.

  1. Avoid focusing on their negative behaviour. Children like to seek attention and may learn a habit of capturing your attention. Turn the situation around by giving attention to what they care about.
  2. Create teamwork. Partner with your child to curb any bad habits. While patient, watch them and work it out as a team. Let them know you can help and put emphasis on togetherness.

Nagging and applying pressure increases the negative pattern because children don’t even realize their actions are wrong. Tell them the facts and reasons, suggest a plan on what and how to work around it, and assure them you can fnd a way to help.

  1. Replace bad habits by engaging in other activities. If your child picks their nose whenever they are bored, try engaging them in activities that interest them. Share with them that there is a better way than what they do.

It is important to anticipate and accept that bad habits are part and parcel of their growing up journey. As a parent, it is about our proactiveness to respond to their habits positively; there will be a mixture of more manageable and more challenging habits to deal with. Talk to your child and work towards the proper habits together; they can feel your commitment to be with them always.

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