As a parent, it’s very tempting to let smaller, less important issues go unnoticed. To some extent, however, it’s important to pick your battles. Why? Some behavioral problems can lead to worse issues in the future if they aren’t dealt with immediately. Here are five little behavioral issues that you may regret ignoring, along with what you can do to correct them.
If your child is eager to tell you something, he or she may ask you right in the middle of a task or conversation. It may not be much of a problem to stop to give your child the attention they’re looking for. But in doing so, they may feel even more entitled to your attention and develop a habit of interrupting you in the future.
In the event your child yells or tugs on your arm to get your attention, tell him (or her) that he won’t get what he wants by interrupting. Don’t give in to him until he waits patiently for you to finish.
Pretending Not to Hear You
If your child gets away with not doing what you tell him to do until after you’ve told him a few times, he’ll think that he’s in charge of deciding when to do what you’re asking. Reminding a child to do what you asked just teaches them that they can wait until they think you start to get serious.
Always make sure your child pays attention to you when you talk to him. Get him to respond to show that he is listening to you. If the behavior continues, you may need to impose a consequence to get him to see that not listening is not an option.
Of course, if your child hits another child, this represents a situation that demands attention right away. But, many parents pay less attention to “less serious” forms of aggressive behavior, such as pinching and pushing. When this type of incident occurs, it’s still important to deal with it immediately. Don’t wait.
Not Seeking Permission
It doesn’t take long for children to start preparing snacks on their own, rather than asking for help getting them. However, giving them control of when they can eat or perform certain activities doesn’t help teach them to follow the rules.
It’s best to have an established set of rules for the household, instead of letting your child behave as he pleases. This gives him a constant set of rules to follow and adjust to, as opposed to teaching him to make the rules for himself.
Stretching the Truth
If your child over-exaggerates or lies about something that doesn’t matter, it may not seem like a big deal. But, lying easily becomes a habit that kids often turn to in order to get out of chores or trouble. If your child lies about something, make sure you let him know that it’s important to tell the truth. Tell him that lying hurts other people’s feelings and makes people leery of what they have to say. Kids will likely slow down on exaggerating if they realize that it is not as harmless as it seems.
These behaviors may be of little or no harm now. But, try to steer your child away from them all the same. If your kid often acts without permission, it’s important that you help him realize that this behavior is inappropriate or even dangerous. It’s better to deal with the issue now than to deal with the repercussions of a child acting impulsively in the future.