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Easy Ways to Improve Your Child’s Behavior

by Jaime A. Heidel
See all TBYIL articles by Jaime A. Heidel

(The Best Years in Life) Does your child throw tantrums at the drop of a hat? Do you frequently get complaints of inattentiveness, bullying, or fighting in school? If so, you’re not alone. Millions of parents are going through the same thing, and they’re just as frustrated as you.

Here are some steps you can take to improve your child's behavior without yelling, punishing, or resorting to prescription drugs:

Listen to Your Child

One easy way to improve your child’s behavior is to understand that children, especially young children, have a limited grasp of how to convey their emotions.

For example, if your daughter goes to pieces after knocking over a glass of milk, it may indicate she has unresolved emotions about something that happened days or weeks ago.

If you tell her she’s crying over nothing or do something to distract her from crying, it will only worsen her behavior over time.

Instead, give her space to cry it all out. Hold her and reassure her that everything is going to be OK and that she’s OK. This will help her to feel safe opening up to you about other problems, fears, or concerns she may be holding back.

Schedule Regular One-On-One Time

Even though you're busy, it’s very important to schedule time to be with your child. Just half an hour of uninterrupted play each day can help re-establish the closeness necessary for good communication. The more connected your child feels to you, the more comfortable he will feel sharing emotions, asking questions, and talking about what’s bothering him.

Rule Out Food Intolerances

A common cause of misbehavior in children is the presence of one or more food intolerances.

The most common foods that cause behavioral problems in children are:

  • Wheat/gluten

  • MSG

  • Unfermented soy

  • Aspartame

  • High fructose corn syrup

  • Food dyes

Each of these foods has been linked to violent behavior, emotional instability, insomnia, learning disabilities, and digestive distress.

To learn if food is the cause of your child’s behavioral problems, eliminate all of the above-mentioned foods from the diet for a period of six weeks. Then, slowly reintroduce an eliminated food each week to test for a reaction.

Understand How Environment Affects Your Child

To improve your child’s behavior, you must understand its cause. Oftentimes, bad behavior is a result of too much stimulation.

For example, taking your 4-year-old to the mall for an all-day shopping trip or exposing him to computer images he cannot process.

As adults, we’re desensitized and able to tune out unwanted sights and sounds. A child cannot do this. Your son or daughter may be acting out because something he saw scared him, or he is simply overwhelmed by a crowd of people.

 

Rule Out Physical or Developmental Problems

Your child’s behavioral problems may also stem from a physical condition or developmental disorder.

Common physical conditions that may result in child behavioral problems are:

  • Leaky gut syndrome

  • Food intolerance/allergies

  • Thyroid disease

  • Seizure disorders

  • Neurological disorders

  • Tourette syndrome

  • Traumatic brain injury

The most common developmental disorders that cause child behavioral problems are:

  • Autism spectrum disorder

  • ADHD

  • Sensory processing disorder

Every child is different, and those with a legitimate medical reason for behavioral problems will become traumatized by yelling, scolding, and punishing as they are unable to control their actions or understand what is expected of them.

To sum up, improving your child’s behavior can be very easy.

Just remember to:

  • Listen to your child.

  • Schedule regular one-on-one time.

  • Eliminate foods that may cause behavioral problems.

  • Understand how the environment affects your child.

  • Rule out medical causes of behavioral problems.

Behavioral problems are distressing to parents, teachers, and children alike. Using these easy ways to improve your child’s behavior should help you, your child, and those around her reach a state of emotional balance.

See also:

How to Build Self Confidence in Your Children

Teaching Children Gardening Boosts Their Development and Health

‘Natural’ Food Additive Behind Behavior Problems in Children and IBS in Adults

Spanked Kids are More Aggressive

Unwarranted Off-label Psych Drug Prescriptions are Dooming Millions of Children's Lives

New Study Finds that Pesticides Double the Risk of ADHD in Our Children

The Mixed Blessing of Children (humor)

Resources:

http://www.webmd.com/drugs/2/drug-145453/rid-lice-killing-topical/details
http://www.publicintegrity.org/2011/09/06/6123/crawling-issue-head-lice-treatments-worse-pest-itself

About the author:

Jaime is a professional freelance writer with a passion for natural health and wellness. Her website, I Told You I Was Sick, was created to help those living with chronic pain and illness find natural ways to heal.

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