January 27, 2020

Programs for improving child behavior problems

child helping mother with laundryTypes of programs
There are many different types of programs you can use to improve your child’s behavior problems. Some of these include:

  • Charts. Effective for younger kids, you can track good behavior on charts with stickers, then reward them for a certain number of stickers. Kids have a visual reminder of their behavior, which is motivating.
  • Rewards. You can use a reward system as a way to improve your child’s behavior problems. For example, if your child misbehaves in school, set goals for improved behavior, such as not getting into fights or talking back to the teacher. If he goes 2 weeks with no incidents, he gets a reward.
  • Consequences. Negative consequences are another type of program to improve child behavior problems. Make sure your child knows what types of behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences will be, then be consistent in enforcing them. For example, “If you hit your sister, you go to bed an hour early.”
  • More serious programs. Programs for more serious problems include camps or classes that provide intense therapy while helping kids improve their behavior problems.

Where to find them
For parents who feel overwhelmed or don’t know where to turn, it can be difficult to know where to find programs for improving child behavior problems. Some good resources include:

  • Teachers and school counselors. Your child’s school can be an excellent resource for programs for improving your child’s behavior problems. School counselors in particular are trained to deal with behavior problems and can work closely with parents in helping to find programs to improve behavior.
  • Family therapist/counselors. If your child is in counseling for behavior problems, the counselor might recommend some kind of program for children with behavior problems that they know is successful. This is a good resource because counselors are familiar with your child’s behavior problems and the reasoning for them.
  • Recommendations. Other parents, family members, or clergy might be able to recommend programs that they have used with their own children and had success with.

Making programs work
In order for behavior modification programs to work, it’s important that parents have both patience and consistency in implementing them. Experts say that sometimes, it can take 4 weeks or more to see real, positive improvements in the child’s behavior. While it can be frustrating for parents because they think they are wasting their time on a program that doesn’t work, parents who remain patient and positive in the programs will come to see results in time. If necessary, you may have to make some modifications to the program for your child’s unique circumstances.

Consistency is also crucial in making behavior programs work. Parents should stick to the program. If they are not consistent, their children won’t take them seriously. If your child is in a program outside of the home, keep the lines of communication open between the teachers and specialists so you can know how to make the most of the program. Showing support in the program your child is participating in is important, so kids see that you are all on the same team.

Using programs to improve your child’s behavior problems can be very effective, but parents need to take care to choose the right programs. Taking your child’s behavior problems and individual circumstances in mind, parents can find the right program to improve their children’s behavior problems.

Eliminating bad behavior

serious girl

Whether your child is five or fifteen there are going to be times, in some cases numerous times, when they exhibit bad behavior. You may not always be there for it, and so it is important as a parent that you learn some tactics for how to help eliminate these bad behaviors. We are all human, and you won’t be able to get rid of poor behavior all together, but you can certainly decrease it and the likelihood of it getting worse. The following are some ways to do so:

Clear rules.

If you want to eliminate bad behavior you have to have some guidelines for your children so that they know what your definition of bad behavior is. This means come up with some clear and concise rules. For the best effects it is wise to have your child help you create this set of rules so that they take greater responsibility for them. This means sit down with your toddler, tween, or teen, and discuss your expectations of them, and have them help you compile a list of short rules. For example: Homework must be done before play. Go to bed on time. No fighting. No swearing. No smoking.

These are just some simple examples, but it is important to realize that difficult rules, or rules that are complicated do not render results. Simple and to the point is the way to go when it comes to setting rules to govern behavior.

Clear consequences.

Along with a clear set of rules, there needs to be a clear set of consequences. For example, if the rule is: Curfew is at 10. Then the consequence for breaking that rule, or curfew could be: For each minute you are late, you have to be home an hour earlier the next night. Once again, the idea is clear. There is no room for misunderstanding or excuses if you have set rules and set consequences attached to those rules. This tactic is going to help improve behavior in toddlers through teens because they can weigh their options and make informed decisions about whether or not poor behavior is worth the consequence they will pay. In most cases you will see that if there is a clear rule with a clear consequence, the rule will be more or less followed.

Follow through.

If you want your children to behave according to the rules you set for them, you have to follow through. This means do not threaten something you will not do. Do not tell your teen they will lose car privileges if they back talk, if you intend to let them continue driving the car. It will teach your children nothing if you do not follow through with threats, and the consequences posted. You can allow children to earn back things you have taken, such as privileges, but if you just give them back, or never take them away in the first place, then you will not get results. Your child will learn quickly that you won’t do anything, and their behavior will worsen rather than improve.

Creating the right environment. child in time-out

If you know that when your child does not get enough sleep, eats too much sugar, or hangs out with a certain set of friends their behavior starts to suffer, you can do something about it. Every parent knows that there are things that set off, or facilitate bad behavior from their children. In a toddler it might be something like a missed nap leads to crankiness and acting out. For an elementary school aged child is might be when they hang out with a certain friend. For a teen it might be when they stayed out too late the night before. If you want to eliminate bad behavior from your children, regardless of the age, watch for the things that trigger such behavior and start by eliminating those. Make sure your child gets a nap, restrict or limit when they can hang out with those friends, and set curfews, etc. to help them get enough rest. This will help you create the right environment so that bad behavior is less likely to occur.