How to Stop Unwanted Behaviors in Children

Do you notice unwanted behaviors in your children? Are their actions giving you nightmares? Don’t worry, you can handle these, and we will give you the right tips to help put a stop to these unwanted behaviors in your children.


How to Stop Unwanted Behaviors in Children

One thing you should know is that toddler issue are likely resolved through common sense than through force or pressure. Toddlers cannot express themselves verbally, and they feel and understand more than they can say.

This can make them emotionally overwhelmed and result in behaviors that are not wanted such as screaming, temper tantrums, acting out, etc.

But these behaviors have to be corrected so that they don’t carry them into their adulthood.


Unwanted Behavior Examples

In case you are wondering what’s normal and what’s not normal, here are some highlights of unwanted behaviors in children.

  • Difficulty managing their emotions, they have frequent outbursts over minor things.
  • They become impulsive and display destructive behaviors like screaming, throwing things, or hitting.
  • Your once talkative child withdraws into his/her shell, becomes rude, and talks back for no reason.
  • They tell lies, steal, or take things that does not belong to them.
  • Their behavior starts affecting their performance at school. They may be fighting at school, missing classes, or going late to school.
  • When spats and disagreements with their peers become a problem and even affect their social life
  • Disoriented, extremely lazy, restless, and they can’t focus on one thing.
  • Indulge in sexual behaviors that are not age appropriate
  • They question your instructions and do not respond to your discipline. Sometimes, they defy your rules just to challenge you.
  • They harm themselves or think about self-harm.


Common Behavior Problems In Kids And How To Tackle Them

It is important to note that the rational part of children’s brain is not fully developed in kids below 3 years old. This is why they are driven by their emotions. But as they grow older, the rationality will improve.

But they still need parental support to manage their emotions. Also, note that, it is common for children to break the rules and even go against the norm. They do this to test authority.

By doing this, they will understand which behavior is appropriate and which is not. Thus, while we want to know how to stop unwanted behaviors in children, let us see some common behavioral problems exhibited by children and they can be handled.

Also Read: How to Promote Positive Behaviors in Your Children


Here are common behavioral problems in kids and how to tackle them.

1. Screaming

Remember that your toddler has lots of energy and has probably discovered that she too can scream and shout. And when she does this, you come running and give her attention.

At this age, your teenager does not understand that screaming is not a good thing. So, to handle this, don’t scream back at your child, he/she will think that it is acceptable to scream.

Teach your toddler the difference between a loud and a soft voice, and the next time he speaks, calmly remind him to speak softly instead.

2. Disrespect and talk back

It can get on your nerves when your child screams “no” any time you tell her to do something or she talks back. If this is not handled properly, it can lead to arguments between you and your child.

If your child talks back but follows the instructions, you can ignore it. You can also ignore backtalk if the behavior is not destructive or threatening. If otherwise, you have to pay attention and handle it carefully.

Your response should not be impulsive.

Leave the child to calm down and then you address what he or she said. Calmly tell them the behaviors that are acceptable and the ones that are not. Then you set limits and make them aware of the consequences.

Don’t threaten, just state the plain facts. Then you have to check yourself too. How do you behave with the kids or others when the kids are with you? Are you rude or disrespectful? If your answer is yes, then you have to change your behavior because kids copy their parents.

3. Biting nails

This is something your child can start doing unconsciously, and then it becomes a habit. It may now be something that he does without being aware of it. This happens when the child is under stress or bored.

Instead of nagging, pushing, or scolding, help him find a suitable physical activity to help him de-stress. Scolding, screaming at him, or nagging will make him stick to this habit.

Do not bother or correct him especially when he is in the midst of people. He will stop and outgrow this habit when he gets to realize that people are watching him. This may take some time though.

4. Abusive language

It’s normal for children to scream and yell when they are angry but when they start using swear words, you should act fast. They may be using abusive languages to get their way or to bring you into an argument.

Make sure that you are not using swear words in front of the kids. Have zero tolerance for swear words and verbal abuse at home. There should be a consequence for anyone who uses swear words.

Clearly explain the consequences to them, and make sure you will go through with it. Correct them immediately you hear them use a swear word, tell them that it is a bad word and people do not like kids who use such words.

5. Whining

You know that your child is completely dependent on you for everything, so if they want to get your attention, they will whine or cry.

This will become his standard behavior if he sees that you will provide what he wants if he acts this way.

So, when he starts whining, get down to his eye level and tell him that you are listening and you care about him. If he asks in a normal voice and asks for what he wants, you have to endorse that behavior by acting quickly.

Avoid triggers that can cause whining in children such as stress, hunger, and exhaustion.

6. Aggressive or violent behavior

It is normal for children to get angry but if you notice that your child gets violent or turn to aggressive behaviors when angry, then you need to act fast.

Aggression is a learned behavior and things that can cause aggression in children are psychosis, frustration, impulsiveness, traumas, mood and conduit disorders.

How is the environment at home, at school, etc.? Don’t yell back when your child shows aggression, this will worsen the situation and teach them that is okay to be aggressive.

Your child is looking up to you to learn how to control their emotions and impulses. So lower your tone instead of raising it when addressing them and tell them to calm their tone.

Say something like this: “I know you are angry but it is wrong to bite, hit, or kick”. Tell them the consequences of being violent, then you give them an alternative instead. And don’t leave them hanging.

Teach them to use phrases like “I am not happy”, “I don’t like it”, etc.

7. Crowd phobia

When in a crowd, toddlers are likely to become unruly unmanageable. This can happen to any parent at a crowded party, mall, or crowded train station.

Well, your child is not used to large crowds of strangers, so he/she will cling to you or even try to force you to leave.

Don’t disregard this, shun or push them away. Hug them and gently reassure them that you are there with them and that they are safe.

Then you praise him when he can bravely face crowds.

8. Bullying

Kids love bullying other kids to feel powerful but it shouldn’t be overlooked because it can result into emotional and physical abuse of the victims.

When feelings become difficult, kids resolve to bullying to fix thing. If you get to know that your kid is bullying others, correct them immediately that it is wrong. Tell them what and who a bully is, and examples of what bullies do.

Example “a bully is someone who calls people names, does mean things to them, or takes their property by force”.

Set rules and standards in the house. Tell them that they would not get away with such behaviors in the house.

9. Lying

Children cannot tell the difference between fantasy and reality until they are 3 to 4 years old. This means that they are unfamiliar with the concept of lying, they don’t even know what that term means.

Accusing your child of lying will not help. So, set up a situation and encourage a conversation. Make sure he is free to confess rather than deny. Don’t overload him with a long list of do’s and don’ts if not he will be overwhelmed and lie.

Make sure you create a trusting environment.

10. Manipulation

Children act out, cry, or lie to get what they want. If you constantly give in to this behavior, your child will feel justified and she will start manipulating you.

Break this pattern.

Expect your child to fight every time you say “no”. Make it clear that when you say no, you mean no. explain briefly your position and avoid discussion but don’t shut them off completely.

You can listen to their sides of the story as long as the child is respectful and not rude.

11. Behavior problems in school

Is your child refusing to go to school and regularly screams “I hate school”? well, you have to find out if there is a reason behind this like bullying at school, resistance to rules and authority, academic issues, and even anxiety of separation from parents.

You have to get to the root of the issue and know why your child hates school. Offer incentives to encourage positive behaviors. [Read Also: How to Promote Positive Behaviors In Your Child]

12.Laziness and lack of motivation

Do your child lack interest in doing anything at all? Including play, art, school work, and other activities?

Don’t get anxious or they will see you as pushy. They will resist you. Instead tell them stories of your childhood and share your experiences with them. This will encourage and inspire them to do something new.

Don’t force them to choose a hobby, you can give them options and allow them to choose.

Also Read: Effects Of Bad Parenting On Children


How To Stop Unwanted behaviors In Children

Unwanted and abnormal behaviors in children can be corrected through change in parenting styles and behavior therapy. You can also stop unwanted behaviors with something positive.

For instance, if you don’t want them to play on the street, you can say “Don’t play too close to the road, play in the yard”. This will take their mind off the negative and they will be happy with the alternative.

Don’t speak to children with raised voice, speak to them in a low tone.


Conclusion On How to Stop Unwanted Behaviors in Children

We hope this post will help you understand your child so that you can help them better. Most of these behaviors are caused by stress or discovery of new things in his environment.

However, the bottom line is that the earlier you address these issues tactically, the better it is.



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