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Stop Misbehavior Before It Starts

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As parents, teachers, and caregivers, sometimes it feels like all we do is correct misbehavior. How depressing! I’ve been in this rut myself, and found a few ways to get out of it. Here are just a few things we can do to enjoy more happy times with kids.

Give your kids the gift of any early bedtime. 

This can work wonders. Most adults don’t behave well when they haven’t had enough sleep. We would be foolish to think that children should. If your child is having a particularly rough day, ask yourself, “Have they had enough sleep?” Try an earlier bedtime. You may be surprised by what a difference it makes. As an added plus, earlier bedtime means more adult time.

Have a daily routine. 

A daily routine gives children stability. They have the security of knowing what they can generally expect each day. When I was growing up, we had a Saturday routine. My siblings and I knew that we were expected to get ourselves ready and complete a list of chores. When we were done, we were free to spend the afternoon as we wished. We always knew what to expect. There is no need to be rigid with this one, but it helps if kids have a general idea of what each day will bring.

Build and maintain your relationship. 

Children are more willing to obey when they have a solid relationship with the authority figure. People bend over backwards for those they love. When children seem to be constantly testing the limit, it might be time to take a look at your relationship. They may be trying to tell you that they need you to listen more intently. Maybe they need a little more one-on-one time with you.

Have a sense of humor. 

In many instances, making light of a situation is incredibly effective. One of my favorite examples of this is from Love and Logic. When a toddler throws a tantrum, a parent might say, “Wow, that’s pretty good! Not as good as your last tantrum though. I’ll give it an 8.” That child might be so surprised that they stop instantly! Another idea is to teach kids how to make chores into games. When I was a teacher, I learned that as I added more fun to my classroom, I generally had to do less disciplining. Be sensitive with this one though. There are situations when humor will backfire. You know your children. Use your judgement.

Go outside. 

It’s so good for kids to be outside! They need to move! They can have much more freedom to explore and get into things when they are outside. They are able to yell and run around. All their pent up energy has a healthy outlet in the outdoors.

What are your best tactics for stopping misbehavior before it starts?

Learn how to discipline with less drama here.

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