If you have a child who is behaving badly, it is important to nip this problem in the bud while they are still young.  Left untreated, your child will grow into a teenager who will be even harder to get in line.

Always Let There Be Consequences

If your child is young, you may feel bad for punishing them and give in.  You need to stand your ground and stick to the original punishment no matter what.  A ten minute time out should always be ten minutes, not five minutes.  A two day grounding should last a full two days, not just half a day.  If your child knows that your threats are never real, they will continue to rebel.  Let your child cry and whine, you are doing them a favor in the long run.

Get to the Bottom of the Problem

Most children misbehave because something else is bothering them.  After they serve their punishment, talk to your child about what is on their mind.  See if there is anything you can do to accommodate their feelings.  If your child is not easily opening up to you and the bad behavior continues it may be time to get a therapist involved.

Teach Your Child Other Ways to Deal with Emotions

If your child is hitting other kids, teach your child how to talk about their feelings.  If your child is constantly making a mess on purpose, get them involved with painting and other creative arts.  Positive alternatives to tantrums can help a child get their behavior under control.  If your child is already writing, help them to keep a journal where they can write down their feelings.  You can even make your own journal and make a special time when you can read them together.  Try different tactics until you find something your child enjoys.



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