6 behavioural problems that shouldn’t be ignored by parents

While child behavioural issues may not appear to be harmful at first, once they become habitual, they become even more difficult to break – and they may have an impact on your child’s development or well-being.

These issues with behaviour can become problematic and entrenched at times. As a result, it’s critical to intervene early to prevent problematic behaviours from becoming habitual.

Are you wondering if there’s something you and your child should be working on? Here are 5 seemingly innocent behavioural issues to be aware of.

1. Interruption
It’s tempting to ignore interruptions and simply respond to your child’s questions, but shortcuts can have negative consequences. Taking the time to acknowledge these moments, will help teach impulse control and the ability to wait – two skills they are still learning (and will continue to work on for some time) that will benefit them in the long run. So, the next time you’re about to make a call or visit with a friend, tell your child that they need to be quiet and not interrupt you.

2. ​Impatience
Impatience in small children can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including grabbiness, frequent interrupting, or meltdowns when they don’t get what they want right away. That isn’t to say it shouldn’t be taken seriously. Impatience can lead to impulsiveness, a lack of self-control, and social problems (like refusing to share on the playground). It is your responsibility as a parent to educate them. Parents respond to a child’s demands by almost giving them what they want, a practice known as “patience-stretching.”

3. Playing too rough
You know you should intervene if your child punches a playmate, but you shouldn’t overlook more subtle aggressive acts like shoving their brother or pinching a friend. Rough behavior can become a habit by the age of eight if you don’t intervene. Furthermore, it sends the message that harming others is acceptable. Inform them that any action that causes harm to another person is prohibited. If they misbehave again, terminate the playdate and/or impose a consequence.

4. Ignorance
Have you ever called your child’s name several times and received no response? This is usually the result of your child’s developing brain, rather than willful ignoring. Executive functioning skills such as selective attention and filtering are simply not developed in young children. However, this isn’t a behaviour you want to overlook. It’s best to connect first, join their world, get their attention, and then give the direction – or, better yet, wait until they look up and make eye contact naturally.

5. Swearing
At some point, every parent will hear their child say a curse word. While it may seem amusing at first, this is an excellent opportunity to teach your child about the situations in which they can and cannot use inappropriate words. It’s fine to ask an adult what a word means, but it’s not okay to use the word in a derogatory or angry manner. You can gradually teach your children powerful words that don’t curse words because many children simply want to experiment with the new language and express the intensity of their emotions.

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