Inconsistency May be Causing Your Child’s Behavior Problems

Angry boy screamingChild behavior problems are caused by many different factors.  One reason for child behavior problems is inconsistency in the child’s life.  Children need to feel secure in their environments in order to grow up happy and healthy.  Child behavior problems often occur because the child’s environment makes them feel insecure.  One way to help your child feel secure is to provide structure.  While a child may say they don’t like routines and structure, the reality is that they crave it…and need it!

So in order to begin eliminating the child behavior problems that you may face, start by creating a family routine.  Create a daily schedule for your family.  Start with defining a time that the children need to be out of bed.  List the morning chores that need to be completed and in what order.  Continue listing daily tasks and establish a set time each day for each task.  Then share the schedule with your family.  Make sure your children understand that there may be changes to the schedule due to unexpected events or special occasions, but that on most days your family will follow the set schedule.

To further eliminate the child behavior problems that you may be having, take time to track when your children are having these behavior problems.  More than likely, these will be happening during unstructured times.  A quick fix for these child behavior problems is to create structure during these times.

For example, your children are fighting frequently between 4:00 and 5:00pm.  They’re home from school and you’re busy fixing dinner.  You just want them to play nicely so that you can get dinner on the table, but every day you’re distracted by their fighting.  A simple fix to this child behavior problem is to structure that hour.  Perhaps make this homework time and send each child to his/her room to work on homework.  What if your child doesn’t have any homework on a specific night?  Then the other option would be quiet reading in his/her room.  Anything that lets your child know that from 4:00 to 5:00pm, they need to be working in their rooms.  Creating this structure for your home will eliminate many of the child behavior problems you are facing daily.

Still need help creating your family’s daily schedule?  Check out Get-Organized-Mom.com  If your family has never been on a schedule, here are some tips to get them on board?

1. The most important person to have on board with you is your spouse. If you are both in agreement that a household schedule is needed, and you are both willing to enforce it, you will be able to make your schedule work.
2. When you set up your schedule, get your kids involved. Just like anything else, if they have ownership in it, they will want to participate.
3. Make your family schedules kid-friendly. Use bright colors. Let your kids decorate it with stickers of their favorite characters. Or just let them draw pictures on it with crayons or markers. Hang it low enough for the kids to see it.
4. You’ll probably get a little more resistance from your teenagers-but do it anyway! They will benefit from this too. Again, let them be involved in making the schedule. And make sure to include some time for them to do the things they enjoy.

 

Things to consider when creating your family schedule:
• Give each family member their own column on your family schedule so that everyone’s unique activities can be accounted for.
• Try color coding items to make it easier to read at a glance.  Give each family member their own color and assign one color for “Family” activities that everyone does together.
• Fill in the things that happen at the same time every day or ever week first.
• Then compare each family member’s schedule.  You may need to fill in items on someone else’s schedule based on another schedule.  For example, Daisy has ballet lessons on Thursday at 4pm.  Someone has to drive her there and pick her up, right?
• Don’t forget the daily “living essentials” such as homework time, chores, housework, meal times and meal preparation, bedtime routines, morning time routines, play time, family time, etc. . .

 

Tips to Make Your Family Schedules Work
1. Stick to it! Don’t give up.  Rome wasn’t built in a day!
2. The best schedules are flexible ones! Things are going to happen to get you off schedule. That’s just life…don’t let it stress you out!
3. Be willing to change the schedule if it’s not working. If you only have 30 minutes scheduled for the kids to do their homework, and it’s regularly taking them 45 minutes, change the schedule to accommodate it. Don’t rush them to the point that they’re not doing a good job, just so you can stick to the schedule.

When your children know what is expected during the course of each day, the child behavior problems that you were seeing will surely decrease.  Your child will be more confident and less likely to act out when they are feeling secure in their environment, and you’ll be a happier parent too!

If you need help creating structure in your home and don’t know how to effectively deal with your child’s behavior problems, Behavior Management Coaching can help.  We will individualize our coaching to help meet your family’s unique needs.  Talk to us Today!