How to Fix Children's Behavior Problems

As parents, it's common to feel frustrated with children's behavior problems. There are many ways to fix them, with an emphasis on character and communication. Find out how in this article!
How to Fix Children's Behavior Problems

Last update: 29 December, 2021

Children’s behavior problems can create quite serious conflicts at home, especially when parents don’t know how to handle them or can’t, for whatever reasons (fatigue, stress, anxiety, etc.), and children enter a spiral of misbehavior where both parties inadvertently enter a terrible battle at home. The fact is that the constant complaints of children can bring out the worst in parents and can make them yell and lose their cool.

But parents should be very clear about one thing: Children aren’t going to change their negative habits overnight. It takes constant work to be able to achieve this. Parents above all need to have a lot of patience and show the best example so that they’re able to shape their child’s behavior. But how can these kinds of problems be solved?

Don’t get into a power struggle

It’s important to avoid getting into power struggles with children. No matter what happens, you must know how to pick your battles, as there are some that aren’t worth getting into and aren’t even necessary. Sometimes, you don’t need to get into debates with children, and they’ll have to deal with frustration or anger. However, parents need to know how to differentiate the behaviors to be able to handle them.

In order to avoid getting into an unnecessary and counterproductive power struggle and to prevent yelling and tantrums is to give your child the opportunity to participate in decisions with some alternatives that you choose without further discussion. This way, they’ll have the opportunity to choose and feel that they have some control over what goes on. But the reality is that you’re the one who chooses the best alternatives.

A preteen girl having a temper tantrum and throwing her stuffed animals.

Don’t react, but don’t ignore either

The first thing you have to do before you react is to determine what it is that you’ve been doing wrong. Many parents mistakenly respond to children’s behavior problems (often exaggeratedly) without knowing why they happen in the first place.

If the behavior is to attract attention, it’s best not to react to it, but not to ignore it completely, as ignoring it means that you’re allowing it. Children must be redirected so that they know what’s expected of them and how they should behave in certain situations.

When children misbehave, they usually attract the attention of their parents in a negative way, something that negatively reinforces them. As a result, they may do it again and again just because they receive the attention of their parents. In this sense, parents will have to pay attention to children when they improve their behavior and conduct and not react when children are misbehaving.

Be positive

Having a positive attitude in life is crucial in order to transmit good energy to children. Sometimes there will be unavoidable tantrums and. of course, also clashes between siblings… but entering a spiral of negativity will only lead to more problems in the environment.

That’s why you need to have a positive attitude towards any conflict in order to transmit these good energies to your little ones. If necessary, one idea is to leave the room for a few seconds, take a deep breath, and count to 10, so you can calm your nerves and be able to face the problem again.

Don’t label your kids

You should avoid labeling your children by calling them things like: “You’re so naughty”, “You’re such a pain”, or any other labels with negative connotations. This will only become a self-fulfilling prophecy because by labeling your child, they’ll believe what you say about them and act accordingly.

A child holding his parent's hand and blowing bubbles.

Therefore, if you want to label your child in some way and want to avoid behavioral problems, make sure to do it in a positive way in moments of good behavior, so you’ll be reinforcing them in a positive way: “I love it when you behave like this, you’re so good “, “I’m proud of you, you’re very kind”, “Thank you for bringing me the towels, you’re very helpful “, would be some examples.

Be flexible and aware

At the same time, you need to be aware of why your child behaves like this in order to know why these behavior problems exist and to look for the basis of that behavior. Sometimes they can be emotional problems that they don’t know how to express otherwise. You should also make sure that you’re not too strict with your rules and that there’s positive discipline in your home with rules that are flexible according to the circumstances.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.