What to do when your child doesn’t act his age

What to do when your child doesn’t act his age Cover Image

Try out these 5 easy steps to put into action when your child acts like a regressed child.

Imagine you take off for a day just to bring your child and your friend’s child together with the intention of bonding them. You can see the signs of not giving your child your undivided attention. He clings to you, throws the cookie on the floor and asks for something else instead. You grit your teeth and get annoyed that the child doesn’t act his age.

To bring this behavior to a stop, you scold him and threaten to send the other child home. You silently decide not to put up with this humiliation again. You fail to understand his reason for regression (behaving like an infant who is seeking attention).

Wait! Instead of making rash generalization in the heat of the moment, try out five easy steps to put into action when your child acts like a regressed child.

5 Things to keep in mind when your child doesn’t act his age

1. Choices

Choice is when you explain why the behavior is inappropriate and give options to change. That you give him the power to make choices. For example:- “If you behave rudely, you will not get this opportunity to play with Sam and I will return to work. Would you want me to do so?”

2. Hopes and Expectations

Let your child know the positive and negative consequences associated with certain behavior. Get your child to understand ‘cause and effect’. For example:- “If you continue being rude and acting in this manner, I will leave”.

3. Ignore the little things

Take control of your exasperation with your child and stop awfulizing everything the child does. Instead cool down and take a minute to reflect.

4. Learning opportunity

Remember, every event in the child’s life is a learning opportunity. He may learn some and miss the other. Your child needs to understand that he chooses his behavior and his behavior dictates what happens to him. For example:- “If he throws the cookie, he doesn’t get another one and he has to help to clean up.

5. Desired behaviour

Following through on consequences is difficult but desirable, as it consistently yields high returns. The child has to know when my parent says something, she means it. It helps to enthuse discipline in the child without being fearful. This act strengthens his habits from within. Once he starts behaving better he should be appreciated immediately.

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