Guest Post by Nisha Sharma
All moms struggle to understand and cope with their children’s behavior. In any stage of development, it can be difficult to determine the difference between normal and abnormal behavior. Family expectations, social and cultural environments and the child’s own temperament can all influence a child’s behavior. While there are general signposts that can help guide moms along the way, every child’s development follows an individual path.
Every new phase of growth presents its own sets of challenges, for both children and their moms. Many of these challenges are connected with a child’s natural development towards independence. A two-year-old toddler’s tendency to say “no!” at almost every opportunity is not usually a sign of disrespect, negativity or unhappiness, but rather a normal phase in the child’s search for autonomy. The child is communicating a wish to participate in the decisions that affect his or her life. When a child is going through a recognizable, normal phase of development, reacting with firm support is best.
Children display individual temperament early on. Some children have a natural tendency to by shy, adaptable, curious, moody or out-going. Understanding a child’s unique personal characteristics can help a mom anticipate how the child may react in specific situations. Reacting to behaviours according to a child’s individual temperament also assures children that they are accepted for who they are. Sending a message that a child’s natural temperament is unacceptable can damage further development.
Meeting Emotional Needs
Sometimes, unwanted behavior is an indication that a child’s emotional needs are not being met. A child who feels unloved, ignored or neglected can display a number of behaviors to garner attention, behaviors that, if not addressed, are likely to become more destructive as the child gets older. Although it may be challenging to do so, it’s important for parents to ascertain whether unwanted behavior is a result of unmet emotional needs.
When it comes to ensuring that a child will behave appropriately, communication is key. It is unrealistic to bring a child into a new setting and expect them to behave perfectly. Moms should not only tell their children beforehand where they are going and what the children can expect to see and experience there, but should express the kind of behavior they expect them to exhibit while there. Communication is a two-way street. Parents need to ensure that their message has been received by listening carefully to their children as well.
Expecting a child left alone in a kitchen filled with sweets not to sample the goods is unreasonable. Sometimes a child’s environment can trigger unwanted behavior. A play room, nursery or child care center that does not have enough toys or games to keep children engaged can lead to squabbles and fights. When children are brought into an adult environment, whether it’s a library, store or city bus, it is helpful to bring along a favorite toy, story book or game to keep them engaged. Lack of sleep or discomfort can cause unwanted behavior as well.
Understanding the types of issues that can impact behavior at various stages of development can help parents prepare and react appropriately. The most helpful guide to moms may be to remember that children frequently model their own behavior after their parents. Moms who see parenting as an opportunity to explore their own growth, too, may enjoy the most success.
This post was written by Nisha Sharma, she represents a site called BabyPlanet.biz. She loves to write about parenting, children and give advice to moms, feel free to visit her site for more information on nursery furniture.