The dangers of allowing bad behaviour in your home.

It starts out with the terrible two’s tantrums. Some parents look at their little angel and are so concerned that that are in distress, that they will do anything to comfort them, or give them anything. Wrong straight away, because I think the first thing to remember is, that it is ok to be upset. Toddlers don’t know how to express their emotions so it comes out as a tantrum. As a parent, addressing that tantrum properly from the very first will decide the child’s future. If it’s unacceptable or unreasonable, tell them so, take them away from the situation firmly, but kindly and give them a consequence. Teaching your child that they have to accept their own responsibilities for their bad behaviour is a valuable lesson. Believing that your child will never get over his/her distress and trying to comfort him/her with goodies is setting him/her up for failure in his life.
I see it all the time myself. Different personalities in parents or ‘afraid of the scene’ parents are enabling their children to be bad behaviour growing children and then adults.
Of course, you have to find the right balance. I was a tough parent on my first child, so I got it wrong. Judging and critisizing a child will only teach them to be secretive and untrusting. Hitting will only teach them to fear.
When my last little angel started to have severe tantrums, (ok, because of her difficulties, but there’s still no excuse not to deal with the situation properly) I rang the ADHD helpline, because before any of her assessments, I was sure it was ADHD. Thankfully, a very helpful man got on the phone to me. He pointed out to me, that I should stop allowing bad behaviour from my child straight away. I wasn’t helping her. The truth was, I didn’t know how to deal with my little 4 year old daughter’s tantrums. They were scary! But I took his advice, and the minute I started to address the situation properly, kindly, firmly and accepting no bad behaviour without a consequence, things changed immediately.
I could honestly see the relief in Yasmin’s eyes when I was finally behaving like a responsible loving parent. The ‘step’ really worked well for us, Yasmin would say, “No Mammy, not the step!”
And the consequence action still continues today. Now, if Yasmin is misbehaving, even at 10 and a half years of age, I take her aside and tell her that her bad behaviour is unacceptable, I give her a warning, and sometimes where ever we are, I have to carry out that warning, because if I didn’t, it wouldn’t work and your child would learn that as a parent, you are showing that you have no value.
Although Yasmin loves school, some days when I pick her up, she’s sad, withdrawn or upset. I realize that socially, school can be hard for Yasmin as well as sitting for long periods and having to concentrate. How do I deal with this? I encourage her to talk about her day, but I don’t push. If she’s cheeky, I’ll tell her, ‘I won’t accept bad behaviour’, she says ‘sorry’. What can I do to make her feel better? Not too much, but I can squeeze her hand while we listen to some of her favourite songs on the cd player. I tell her I love her. Yasmin eventually smiles.
It’s ok for your child to go through all of these emotions because this is part of life. I know we would all like to wrap our children in cotton wool, but we can’t, but a wise woman told me once (Rosena) we can make our home environment loving and safe and supportive for when they arrive home. Jean xx

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