The behavior problems in the classroom of elementary school children, preschool and generally in childhood are due in many cases children receive more attention – and more reforzamiento- when they misbehave when they act Correctly.
For a psychoeducational treatment in the child and adolescent population to be successful, parents must be fully involved in modifying these behaviors, since children act according to the context in which they find themselves.
The most common behavior problems in children
This is a very common problem in children, which you have surely experienced on numerous occasions.
Children’s tantrums, excessive and sudden screaming and crying are a source of discomfort for parents and, on many occasions, children. children get away with acting this way.
It is considered within normality when they manifest it between 2 and 3 years, being less frequent in older ages.
It is even more annoying for parents when tantrums occur in crowded places – such as a restaurant, a shopping mall, a supermarket, etc. – since they come to annoy the people around.
On these occasions, parents are much more likely to give in to children’s requests to prevent a further tantrum from occurring. exposing them in public.
How to solve them?
If you want to reduce the number of tantrums, you should follow the instructions below to modify your child’s behavior.
In the first place, you should know that the most advisable thing in these cases is to withdraw your attention from your child.
This is called the “extinction technique”, since the aim is to extinguish or eliminate certain behaviors of the minor. To carry out this technique, you must be willing to endure the first moment of even bigger tantrums.
Think that your child is used to getting away with it after a few minutes, so if you spend hours without attending to him, he will have the so-called “outbreak of extinction ”.
Explain the consequences
It is also important that you start by clearly explaining to your child what is going to happen from now on, which would go something like this (in the case of who is 6 years old):
“Well, you are already 6 years old and you are a big boy, so from now on I will not attend to you when you scream, cry or kick. If you want something, you have to ask for it and speak like a 6 year old ”.
If the child has been attentive and listened to your explanation, they will be able to understand you. Therefore, do not repeat the instructions over and over again – since that in that way, you would be paying attention to it.
At first, the child may think that you will give in at some point and that he will end up exhausting your patience as has happened on other occasions. Therefore, in order for him to take your instructions seriously, it is important that you show him that it is not going to happen, that you are not going to attend to him no matter how much he yells.
If his tantrums occur in the street, on the way to school, simply take him by the hand and accompany him to the center, without reacting to his attitude.
Don’t yell or lose control of the situation. Stay calm and be consistent with the explanation you have given your child. The moment he calms down and begins to speak in a calm way, attend to him and reinforce this behavior.
2-Aggression and challenging behaviors
Children who constantly present aggressive behaviors tend to cause a lot of discomfort to their parents, since they perceive that they cannot dominate your child and monitor their behavior.
As Javier Urra, author of the book ” The Little Dictator, ” says, these are children who “do not tolerate failure, do not accept frustration. They blame others for the consequences of their actions, ”etc.
Little by little, these children are taking control of the people around them, doing what they want and with the assurance that their parents will not they will contradict. As you can see, this is a problem that gets worse over time, so it should be treated as soon as possible.
How to avoid challenging behavior?
The younger the child, the more moldable he is and the easier it will be to put an end to this problem. Therefore, if your child has an aggressive attitude, such as the one we are describing, you should carry out the following methods:
- Learn to say no. Even if he threatens, insults or assaults you, you should maintain your posture and make him see that you will not give in if he acts like that. Be firm and don’t let it be
get away with this behavior.
- Never use physical punishment. This type of punishment does not usually work and the only thing it causes is that they become frustrated and use violence against other people or objects.
- Look for violent figures around you: Children are very vulnerable to the context in which they find themselves. Often times, those children who display aggressive behaviors have friends who they behave the same way.
It is advisable that you have control of the children with whom your child is related and make him spend less time with them if necessary.
Here you should also emphasize the series, movies or video games in which your child shows interest. The media can reach promote violent behavior.
3-Toilet training problems
The acquisition of toilet training occurs at different ages, depending on the child in question. Normally, these ages range between 2 and 6 years, with poop control occurring first and urine control later.
Children sometimes control their pee during the day but have retention problems at night, until later in life. If your child has difficulties in relation to toilet training, the first thing you should do is consult a specialist doctor who will rule out physiological problems.
How to solve it?
It is a common mistake to try to start psychological therapy without first seeing a doctor. If medical problems are ruled out, several different methods can be started:
Modify day and night habits. If your child cannot control his pee at night, you can change some routines, such as preventing him from drinking excessively after dinner or waking him up at the time the incontinence episode usually occurs.
If you wake him up 10-15 minutes before he pees on the bed, he can go to the bathroom and prevent this from happening.
Overcorrection technique through positive practice. It is a technique in which the child is taught to repair the damage caused by an inappropriate action. In this case, after the episode of incontinence, the child is instructed to change sheets, wash, and change pajamas.
Pee-stop technique. Although it presents more difficulties, since a machine must be installed at home, its effectiveness has been widely demonstrated. This technique consists
in sounding an alarm when the minor is detected to be wetting the bed.
Therefore, the child wakes up and the episode can be interrupted and incontinence prevented from occurring. We recommend this method if your child have frequent incontinence (consulting with a specialist).
4-Low motivation to study
Surely you have experienced frustration with your child because they did not spend as much time studying as you would like.
Many parents feel the same way today, as we live in a highly competitive society that places great importance on results academics – at the expense of effort.
Another frequent problem is thinking that children should not be rewarded for doing their duty, since it is considered a form of “blackmail”.
However, you should bear in mind that children do not yet understand the importance of studying, so they will not be motivated if they do not win prizes or short-term rewards.
How to improve motivation?
If you want to increase your child’s motivation for studying, establish a series of daily, weekly and quarterly rewards with him.
For example: “If you dedicate 2 hours a day to homework, you can choose between:
- Go out with the bike 45 minutes.
- Watch TV for 30 minutes.
- Play with the computer for 30 minutes.
- Choose dinner ”.
As you can see in this example, various prizes are offered, to avoid satiation. It is also important that the time of the activity is previously established, so that there are no confusion or conflicts when interrupting the award.
As you can do with quarterly prizes, in which you can offer your child excursions, visits to an amusement park, weekend trips week, etc. The important thing here is that you adapt to their interests and find a way to reinforce their study effort.
In this way, just as adults work to get an economic reinforcer – salary – children will work to get what they need. interested.
5-Shyness and insecurity
Shyness in children does not cause as much concern for their parents as the problems we have described above, since they do not alter the dynamics family and are not usually a cause of conflict.
In fact, many children have been classified as shy from a young age and no attention has been paid to this problem.
Nowadays, the interest in this type of children is increasing, since it is demonstrated that children with adequate social skills will have a better academic, social and family development.
How to solve it?
Here are some specific tips for you to apply if your child is especially shy and you think they can create problems for him / her. relationship with others:
Greet the people of the establishments you go to, have small conversations with neighbors and acquaintances, etc. This will help your child have
a good reference model to emulate.
If what you want is to imitate the behavior of other more sociable boys, try to praise them saying: “how nice, how nice is that child who has come to greet us ”. In this way, you are not telling your child how badly he relates, but how well someone else does.
At first, encourage him to perform simple behaviors such as waving goodbye to others, or saying good morning when he arrives at a place.
Reinforce these behaviors by telling him how well he has done, and do not pressure him when you see that he feels uncomfortable in a situation. Little by little, you can be more demanding with the behaviors that you ask, such as telling him to ask the waiter for the soda he wants directly.
Remember that it is very important that you pay adequate attention to your children and their behavior, since the sooner the problem, the easier it will be to remedy it.
And you, what other behavior problems do you observe in your children?
- Caraveo-Anduaga, JJ, Colmenares-Bermúdez, E., & Martínez-Vélez, NA (2002). Symptoms, perception and demand for mental health care in children and adolescents in Mexico City. Public Health of Mexico, 44 (6), 492-498.
- Eastman, M., & Rozen, SC (2000). Angers and tantrums: tips to achieve family harmony.
- Fernández, LR, & Armentia, SLL (2006). Nocturnal enuresis Pediatric Nephrology, V Garcia Nieto, F Santos Rodríguez, B Rodríguez-Iturbe, 2nd ed. Medical Classroom, 619-29.
- Juan Urra. The little Dictator. When parents are the victims.
- Olivares, J., Rosa, AI, Piqueras, JA, Sánchez-Meca, J., Méndez, X., & García-López, LJ (2002). Shyness and social phobia in children and adolescents: an emerging field. Behavioral Psychology, 523-542.
- Pernasa, PD, & de Lunab, CB (2005). Tantrums in childhood: what are they and how to advise parents. Journal of Pediatrics of Care primary, 7 (25).