I show concerned parents who want to give their children the best start to life how to better understand their children.

10 Feb 2013

3 Creative Ways to Curb Bad Behavior

Are you sick of trying traditional behavior modification methods to get your kids to listen to you, get along with one another, and act like well-behaved children, only to fail every time? If so, try these three unconventional approaches to curbing your child’s bad behavior. They’ll likely be more effective than you think.

Turn up the music.
 Everything can be made better with a song. Did you ever notice what happens when you sing the clean-up song? The kids clean up. Or how about when you turn on some soothing, classical music when a baby is fussy? He stops fussing. Looking to get the kids moving? Pop in some upbeat music. Music has the power to change a child’s mood and his perception of the world. And this idea isn’t for the birds. A 2011 study by Meurs Jolij at the University of Groningen showed that “the music you are listening to might alter the way you perceive the world.” The next time the kids are whining, fighting, or otherwise not listening, sing your requests, put on a song, and see what happens next.

Put on a “Get Along” t-shirt. Are your kids constantly fighting over whose Legos are whose? Does one of your darling daughters refuse to let the other one join in and play too? Enter the “Get along t-shirt,” an idea has been making its rounds on Facebook and Pinterest. Simply purchase or use a large, men’s white short-sleeved t-shirt and write “We will get along” on it with a Sharpie. When the kids aren’t getting along, pull out the t-shirt, slip it over both of their heads and stick one child’s arm out each sleeve. Leave them in it until they can demonstrate that they can and are willing to play nicely together.

Pretend you don’t understand.
Tired of whining, tattling and tantrums? The next time your child comes to you and starts whining, stare at her like she has two heads and insist you just don’t understand what she’s trying to say. Let her know that you just can’t process the language she’s speaking and ask her to speak in her regular, indoor voice. If she’s tattling, insist you don’t hear someone is hurt so you can’t understand anything else she’s saying. If she’s having a temper, be sure she is in a safe area, turn your back and don’t respond until she’s done. When kids don’t have an audience, they’re less likely to keep up the performance.
While there are many parenting strategies that can work for curbing bad behavior, sometimes throwing a surprise response to bad behavior into the mix can offer the shock needed to reset a child’s system and get them back on the right behavioral track.

Syndicated, with consent, from http://www.fulltimenanny.com/blog/3-creative-ways-to-curb-bad-behavior/

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  1. I tried the getalong shirt with my kids ages 6 and 10. They thought it was great fun. It changed their behavior from bickering/tattling to giggling...but the little one got hurt from all the wild excitement within minutes, so I don't recommend it.

  2. Good feedback. Thanks Suzanne. Do you think things might have been different if your kids were closer in age? Or are there other ways in which the technique may be modified so that there is less chance of either child getting hurt?

  3. I saw the Get Along T-shirt and thought it was hilarious. I'm afraid my kids would kill each other. My son has some sensory/developmental issues. It wouldn't work for him, but I do think it is a cute idea. I have used music, but more for me... :-). Ellen

  4. Hi Ellen
    That's smart that you acknowledge you son's limitation and so, adjust how you react to situation accordingly.
    Well done.
    What have you tried in the past to curb bad behavior, other than music?