Clinica Sierra Vista WIC

Your Child's Behavior and You

Ms. Andrews often mentions that she wishes her child would behave better. The key to this improved level of behavior is straightforward and it involves the parent. The parent, of course, is the key. You are a role model to your child and his use of behaviors. What you do, the way you act, the things you say, reflect heavily upon the child. The key to your child behaving better is you.

Research indicates that the difference between bad and good behavior in a child is related to what can be termed harsh parenting and responsive parenting behaviors. What is known is this: constant rebellious and disruptive behavior by your child is often the continuation of a pattern that begins in early childhood. Harsh parenting tactics by Ms. Andrews encourage the same type of behavior in her child, and responsive or considerate parenting practices promote the same type of characteristics in her child. What occurs is this: her child takes what he has learned at home from watching his parents interact, and he takes it out into his social circle at school and with his friends.What he sees is what he will do. Significantly, when children are exposed to high-risk ongoing problematic situations involving their parents, such as high stress levels resulting in arguing or fighting by the parents or depression or anxiety in parents often combined with socioeconomic difficulties, a child will use the same negative behaviors he has observed his parents perform.

In order for Ms. Andrews to be able to encourage more pro-social behaviors with her child, it will involve her spending a good deal of positive or cheerful time with her child in child-related activities (such as painting, drawing, games, cooking, or reading). When parents employ successful parenting techniques that create within the child a positive sense of himself, the child noticeably benefits from the interaction and his behavior improves. When parents read daily with their child or spend time playing a brief or ongoing game while the parent remains positive, calm, and supportive, the child gains a positive sense of himself because the parent conveys this sense through his or her interaction with the child.

Harsh parenting techniques by Ms. Andrews can include yelling, slapping or hitting, raising one's voice, scolding or spanking. Ms. Andrews is simply, teaching her child negative behavior through her aggressive techniques. This occurs in harsh parenting practices such as when she yells at her child about completing chores or fighting with his brother or struggles with her child about schoolwork. Do not be surprised when he employs the same techniques with his brother or you, Ms. Andrews! On the other hand, responsive parenting includes being aware of what your child is involved with daily, being positively responsive to your child such as smiling at him or touching him lightly but lovingly on the shoulder, and the use of affection. Responsive parenting also includesinspiring your child to learn by being encouraging and being involved with him daily in a positive, supportive, and calm sense.

The result of positive parenting can be quite awe-inspiring. What occurs is that a child is less aggressive and equally more compliant with his parents. When parents learn to play with one's child in a nondirective manner, and then learn to follow the child's lead such as "…Okay, you want to play Lego's, great!" or, "Yeah, good idea, let's make some muffins." the child behaves better. When a child is exposed to an educational or learning environment, this includes homework, in a positive and supportive manner, he performs better in school.

In the end, Ms. Andrews improved parenting techniques of satisfactory parent-child interactions will make a significant change in her child's attitude and his willingness to be successful at home and school. Her child will begin to behave better and perform better in school and home because of the way she acts toward others when he is around and because of the way in which she interacts with him. You are the one who can help your child the most, you are the parent. The way that you behave and how you treat your child will highly impact the way your child acts elsewhere. Choose your behaviors wisely and participate in play events with your child, allowing him to make decisions and feel as though you are proud of him for these decisions. Happy children come from happy parents, so start smiling and play with your child.

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