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Don't ignore your child's misbehavior!

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Many parents feel unsure of what to do in many behavioral situations. It always seems worse when parents are visiting a friend or are in a store. Maybe it’s not the behavior that is actually worse, but it’s the embarrassment of not knowing how to handle it in a public place that’s making a parent feel unsure.
Behavior that may be corrected somewhat at home can escalate in public. But if it’s truly corrected you usually don’t experience that much difficulty in public. It’s only when a child knows she can get away with it!
Here’s an example:
A mom takes her four year old daughter to a friend’s house. The daughter continually interrupts, demands attention, throws tantrums and uses inappropriate language.
The friend asks, “Doesn’t it bother you when your daughter uses four letter words, interrupts and throws tantrums? She keeps doing that until you give her attention!”
The mom’s response: “I don’t know what to do, she’s always like that and I try to get her to behave but she won’t listen. I’ve given up!”
When a parent acts helpless and has given up, the child quickly learns that being a tiny tyrant pays off! She’s learned that if she persists, she’ll get her way. She knows that her mom can’t handle her especially because her mom continually says things like “I’ve given up”, “She never listens”, “I don’t know what to do”. When a parent is frequently making statements like that, the child knows that they have the power in the house. It’s important to stop making comments like that. It’s OK to feel that way at times, but just don’t say it out loud.
If you have to leave a public place or even your child’s friend’s birthday party, just leave. Once your child sees that you will follow through, behavior will begin to change. Be consistent at home and in public. Mean what you say and follow through! The more a child learns that parents mean it, the behavior will improve.

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