How to Get Your Kids to Behave While Keeping Your Sanity


As parents we tend to be judged and measured by our children's failures and successes. We compare ourselves to other parents and our children to other children to no avail. Forgetting that kids are born naturally self-centered, and we reinforce that by adopting and catering to their every need. Yet by the time we've gotten accustomed to answering our child's every call, we have to undo it all to help our child thrive according to rules and expectations. My two year old daughter tests me with many challenging situations, and what worked for my older daughter [who is now 17], does not work for the younger. Sometimes I feel embarrassed or even guilty, and other times angry or sometimes amused. As a mother of two I now understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to get your kids to behave while keeping your sanity. However, that any parent can use to get your kids to behave while keeping your sanity.

Reinforcing good behavior: Everyone loves affirmation, and kids are no different. Reward your kids - not bribe them - for their good behavior. You would be surprise the results you can reap from a few words encouragement and some occasional tangible rewards can go.

Encourage compliance with alternate choices: Encourage your child's independence by offering a choice. Offer your child two choices either of which would be acceptable to you. It may not be a real choice but it changes your tone and engages the child.

Be clear on what you expect: Kids are naturally responsive to how their parents want them to behave and internalize these expectations. So make it clear and emphasize what you expect of them, rather than what you don't expect.

Develop consistent routines: Children are confused by inconsistency, which leads to frustration and bad behavior. Kids love repetition so why not develop fun routines that your child can do with or without you.

Be the example: And while we're on the topic of being clear, you may want to consider leading by example. Kids imitate and model what their parents, so be careful what you display for them to duplicate.

Provide loving and support atmosphere: Kids express their frustration through rude behavior. So instead of punishing them build confidence by being their cheerleader. Give them a supportive environment to boost good behavior.

Effective Punishment: Because kids behave rudely to express their frustration, is not always the answer. However, effective punishment is one way to boost good behavior.  Setup and stick to the rules and consequences for unacceptable behaviors.

How do you get your kids to behave while keeping your sanity?