Common Child Behavior Problems and Their Solutions

Discipline Strategies to Change Your Child's Behavior

Father scolding pouting daughter
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There are some behavior problems that almost every child exhibits at one time or another. Matching those behaviors to the best discipline strategies can resolve these behaviors before they become even bigger problems.

1. Lying

Sometimes kids tell stories to get attention, while at other times they lie to avoid getting into trouble. If lies aren’t addressed appropriately, lying can turn into a bad habit for your child.

When you catch your child in a lie, respond in a calm but direct manner and encourage your child to tell the truth.

2. Defiance

It’s frustrating when a child refuses to follow directions, especially when he outright says “No!” when you tell him to do something. However, it’s normal for kids to test limits at one time or another. Sometimes defiance stems from a child testing your reaction, while other defiant behaviors may signal a child’s attempts to assert his independence. Preschoolers and tweens are especially likely to behave defiantly.

3. TV and Electronics Addiction

Many children in today’s world would sit in front of the TV or a video game system all day if they could. However, it’s not healthy for them physically or mentally.

Getting them to play outside or get involved in other activities can seem like a battle at first.

However, it’s important to establish healthy habits for them during childhood that will carry over into their adult lives.

4. Food-Related Problems

Food-related issues can lead to a lot of behavior problems. Whether you’ve got a picky eater or a child who always claims to be hungry, food-related issues can lead to power struggles if you’re not careful.

With so much emphasis on being thin combined with an epidemic of obesity, it’s important to help kids develop a healthy attitude about food.

5. Disrespectful Behavior

Disrespectful behavior can frustrate even the calmest of parents. If it’s not addressed appropriately, disrespect can get worse through the years. The way you respond to behaviors such as talking back, inappropriate language, and attitude problems will discourage your child from doing it again.

6. Whining

Whining is a behavior that can become a terribly bad habit for a child, especially if it is an effective means for getting him what he wants. Whining can have a lot of social consequences for children, however.

A child who whines is likely to have peer-related issues because other kids won’t want to put up with it.

Teachers and other caregivers may also not take kindly to a child who whines frequently. Put an end to whining quickly and teach your child more appropriate ways to deal with upsetting feelings such as disappointment.

7. Impulsive Behavior

Impulsive behavior comes in many forms. Young children tend to be physically impulsive. They’re more likely to hit, push or grab something without thinking.

Older children and teens should have better control over their physical impulses, but are often still verbally impulsive. They may say things without thinking and may have trouble controlling their emotions.

There are many reasons why impulse control is an important skill. When children master impulse control, they’re likely to behave better. They are even more likely to have increased academic success. Teach impulse control skills to curb impulsive behavior as early as possible and set your child up for success.

8. Bedtime Behavior Problems

Whether your child refuses to stay in bed, won’t go to sleep, or insists on sleeping with you, bedtime behavior problems are common. If you don’t fix them, they can get worse over time, which can have serious consequences for your child. A lack of sleep can lead to increased behavior problems and academic issues.

9. Aggression

Aggression can range from a child throwing his math book when he doesn’t want to do his homework to outright punching his brother when he’s mad. Usually, aggressive behavior is common at one time or another and should subside as a child learns impulse control. However, there are times when aggression indicates that you should seek professional help for your child’s behavior.

10. Temper Tantrums

Temper tantrums are most common in toddlers and preschoolers. Sometimes they occur when a child isn’t sure how to manage his anger and at other times, they serve as a manipulation technique. Sometimes kids throw tantrums to gain attention or to try and get what they want.

Sometimes older kids exhibit temper tantrums as well. Grade school children, tweens and sometimes even teens, may sulk, stomp their feet or scream when they get angry. Take action to curb these annoying behaviors as soon as possible.

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