8 Tips for Constructively Correcting Behavior

Do you lose your cool and get angry when your child does something wrong? Here are some tips to constructively correct behavior.
8 Tips for Constructively Correcting Behavior

Last update: 23 February, 2021

The best way to educate your children is by constructively correcting behavior. Often, it’s difficult for us to remain calm with our children, work, stress, housework and lack of time. All of this adds up and makes us lose our cool easily, and our kids have to deal with the consequences.

We have to use discipline that’s respectful of our little ones, and use it constructively. That way, your children will listen to you because they understand why you’re fixing their behavior. Also, they won’t be afraid that you’re punishing them or scolding them.

Therefore, when you’re constructively correcting behavior, you’re encouraging reflection and dialogue with your children when you have to scold them. Your chat will have educational value and your punishment won’t end up being ineffective or damaging your child’s self-esteem. Here are some tips for constructively correcting behavior. Keep reading so you don’t miss out on them.

Tips for constructively correcting behavior

Educate, don’t scare

The goal isn’t that your child obeys everything you say and is the most disciplined child. Instead, you want them to be able to distinguish what’s right from what’s wrong. This will help stimulate emotional development and their confidence in you. If your child obeys you out of fear, they may not misbehave again because they’re afraid of your scolding. However, he also isn’t aware of the reason why he can’t behave that way. 

8 Tips for Constructively Correcting Behavior

Avoid yelling and name calling

If we as adults don’t like being yelled at or insulted, imagine how a child feels in those situations. You have to remember that your child is still small and doesn’t have the sufficient emotional resources. Therefore, he’s more sensitive. For them, when parents yell at them or get angry, they think it’s because they stopped loving them.

Be consistent when constructively correcting behavior

Another thing to keep in mind when constructively correcting behavior is that you need to be consistent with each negative behavior. It’s useless if you scold your child one day because they broke a toy, but the next day they do it again and you don’t say anything. It’s very important to be consistent at all times, and to address your child any time you want to fix their behavior.

Listen to them carefully

It happens to all of us. When our kid does something wrong, we get angry. It’s difficult for us to control our emotions and listen to what they have to say to us. However, it’s important that you give them the opportunity to explain what happened. That way, you’re making them more aware of their mistakes and they’ll be able to correct it.

Choose the right moment

Whenever you scold your child, you have to choose the right moment to do it. Ideally, you should correct their misbehavior immediately after it happens. That way, your child will be able to associate the scolding with the action itself, and they’ll understand what they did wrong. However, what you shouldn’t do is wait to scold your child until a later time. If you wait too long, your child won’t remember what happened.

Correct in private, never in public

You shouldn’t correct your child’s behavior in public, and especially not in front of friends and family. This is detrimental to their learning process because it will affect their self-esteem. Also, your child may act out even more if you scold them in front of friends and family.

Focus on the negative behavior

Don’t use terms like: “You’re being stupid!” or “Children who hit people are bad.” If you use these phrases when you scold your child, you’re putting labels on them that will damage their self-esteem. Therefore, it’s very important that the main thing you focus on is the behavior you want to correct. 

8 Tips for Constructively Correcting Behavior

Don’t lose your cool

If your child does something wrong, especially if it’s something you’ve told them many times to not do, it’s difficult to stay calm and talk to them calmly. However, if you yell at them and lose your temper, the only thing you’ll do is intimidate them and teach them that aggressiveness is the only way to solve problems. The best thing is to calm down, take a deep breath and take a few minutes to relax. Then, you’ll be able to speak to them calmly and without hurting their feelings.


There’s no more excuses. Now you know some keys to help you constructively correct your child’s behavior. These tips will help you discipline your child without damaging their self-esteem or emotional development.

Raising your child to behave well is a long and necessary process for their development. It takes a lot of patience and time, but with love and a constructive approach, it can be a more enjoyable process.


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