How To Break Kids Bad Habits

How to break kids bad habits

How to Break Kids’ Bad Habits

Forming habits can occur naturally, though habits can be encouraged and adapted with the right mentality. Just as you can work to create a habit, like exercising regularly, you can do things to break habits if you want or need to. For parents, getting their children to break bad habits can be difficult, especially since many habits kids have are related to their age and getting older. Things like pacifier usage, nose picking, thumb sucking and more can be detrimental to kids’ development and may lead to problems that can actually pose health risks and other side effects. Here are some ways parents can deal with helping their kids break habits in a healthy way.

Ignoring

A simple way to help a child lose focus of a bad habit is ignoring it. This is often good as a first tactic, and other methods can be considered if this does not work. You don’t want to ignore something if it remains to be a problem. In some cases, bad habits draw attention and this attention drives kids to do the thing you’re asking them not to even more. In some cases, paying a lot of attention to a bad habit and punishing them for it can have a negative outcome. When considering whether your child should break a habit or is old enough to, especially when it comes to things like thumb sucking, try to avoid paying attention to the habit and let your kid outgrow the habit on their own with time. If they don’t, then you can consider other options.

Praise and Reward

Giving kids positive attention for behaviors you want to encourage can go a long way, and rewarding non-behaviors can work too. If you notice that your child has not given in to their habit in a while, try congratulating them and let them know that they are doing a good job. Even if it is something they have grown out of and may not have actively tried to stop doing, it can encourage them to further avoid that bad habit in the future.

Give an Explanation

Simply telling kids “No,” is not often helpful so explaining why a habit is bad for them can do some good. Explain how thumb or pacifier can lead to problems with their teeth and extra trips to the dentist, etc. In this technological world we live in if technology is what grabs their attention, then show them videos on what problems the habit may cause can also help reinforce what you are saying. For example, see our video below on thumb sucking that can be shared with your children.

Take it One at a Time

If your child has several bad habits, try to focus on tackling each one before moving onto another. Focusing on several issues at once can be confusing for a kid, as well as stressful, especially if habits like thumb sucking are involved since habits like these are performed because of their soothing or comforting nature. Taking a lot away at once can be challenging and only make matters worse, as well as more difficult down the road.

Social Interactions

Social interactions with other kids may also help children to break habits. If they are around other children who do not have the same habits kids will point it out and let each other know for example “Why are you doing that? Or you always do that!” This makes children more motivated to distract themselves or use an alternative.

Be Patient

Breaking habits takes time, just as it does to form habits. But while you’re being patient, remember to provide your child with love and support. Let them know that breaking these habits will be good for them in the long run. Habits are sometimes performed on an unconscious level, so being understanding is key to your peace of mind as well as your child’s.

 

Tips and Tricks on Getting Kids to Listen

How to Get Kids to Listen

Kids are not known for being the best listeners, but it is something they can learn to do. Getting kids to listen, and teaching them how, can be beneficial in many ways. Not only are you likely to get less frustrated with your children, but they can grow to be observant, thoughtful and considerate people as they get older, too. Here are some ways parents can help encourage their kids to be better listeners and to follow directions when needed.

 

Make Sure You Have Their Undivided Attention

Kids are often in their own little worlds. Whether they’re playing a game or playing with toys, watching TV, or simply inside their own heads, it can be difficult to reach them and know that they are truly listening to you. One of the most important things you can do is to make eye contact. Establishing eye contact can help bring attention to your presence as well as what you have to say. Plus, eye contact is helpful when communicating period, so establishing healthy and appropriate eye contact early on can help kids as they age.

 

Don’t Ask, Tell

If you want your child to do something, whether it be a task or to change their behavior, telling them to do it is more effective than asking. Asking may sound more polite or mild, but it also makes the request optional. If you don’t want to sound too harsh, stating a request in a simple manner can get the job done without raising your voice and retaining a sense of authority.

 

Be Sure to Follow Through

If you ask your child to do/not to do something, make sure that you follow up on it. If you ask them to do something and they don’t do it, bring it up again. If you ask them to stop a behavior and they don’t do it, make sure that you follow up with an appropriate disciplinary consequence. Not following through with your actions teaches kids that they don’t have to listen and they may tune out more as a result.

 

Be Mindful of Your Expectations

If a child is struggling with something you tell them or tell them to do, take note. They may not be actively ignoring you but instead have an issue with something else. This is especially important for younger children who may not be able to articulate what they are thinking and feeling yet.

 

Stay Positive

When kids feel respected, they’re more likely to be on their best behavior. Make sure you treat them almost as you would an adult, but keep your expectations in check and provide help/reinforcement when needed.

 

For more helpful tips on getting kids to listen click on the informative video below…

 

How Reading More Can Make Kids Kinder

Child reading educational books

Reading has been linked to many successes, and for the most part is often discussed in relation to a child’s academic success. Related reading skills, like writing and comprehension, can help kids better understand new ideas, abstract concepts, and retain information. When it comes to personal growth, reading can broaden a child’s mind, expose them to new perspectives, and give them insight to others’ experiences in a unique way.

Exposure

Reading can be an exploratory experience. Even if you’re sitting and reading a book in your own home, the words on the pages of the book can transport you anywhere in the world. For kids, being exposed to other cultures, ideas, and kinds of people can be incredibly beneficial for their developing minds. Learning about other parts of the world and the people that live there can be educational, but it can also be informative in a different way. People in different parts of the world may have different kinds of daily struggles, ways of life, and modes of thinking and speaking, and learning about these things can be important for people of all ages, especially children. Understanding different kinds of people opens doors to greater tolerance and understanding, and also helps kids understand that despite many things, different people can also be similar as well.

Empathy

Reading a book from someone else’s perspective, whether it be fiction or nonfiction, can help kids understand how other people feel and better understand others’ emotions. This can translate to interpersonal interactions easily, making it much more natural for kids to sympathize and empathize with others, understand where they may be coming from, or what they may be going through.

Emoting

Understanding emotions can also help kids become better at communicating their own thoughts and feelings, too. A better understanding of emotion, and the thought processes behind it, can help kids see themselves in others and have a better idea of how to handle delicate situations. Expressing oneself is just as important as understanding other people’s emotions, and when kids have a more thorough understanding of these things, it makes it easier for them to know how to comfort others and recognize situations in which they can help someone else.

Kindness often comes from a place of understanding and seeing situations for what they are, even if it is from a different perspective. The more kids understand about other people, cultures, and situations different from their own, the more tolerant, caring and compassionate they can be as they grow into fully fledged adults.