29 Jan

Naughty kids. How to parent them?

naughty kids

Kids are naughty by nature. They like to experiment, touch, handle and take things apart just out of curiosity. In this process, they may break, mishandle or hurt themselves or others. They may shout, hit or throw tantrums when they don’t have their own way. But when the disruptive or unacceptable behavior goes out of control, the parents should step in and control their kids.

What Are The Causes Of Kids Being Naughty:

1. Physical Needs:

As parents, we might have observed that our little ones would cry, become irritable or suck their thumbs when they are hungry, sleepy or sick. Sometimes too much sugar in the system makes the child hyperactive and too less, lethargic. Parents may not be aware of these situations and often wonder, “ What is wrong with their child”. The better option is as parents we should be aware of the basic physical needs of our children and observe the habits before labeling them as naughty kids. The following checklist may help parents keep a tab on their children’s naughty behavior.

  1. Is the child having proper nutrition at regular intervals and not getting addicted to junk food?
  2. Whether the child is sick or having any physical injury or irritation?
  3. Is the child having any food reactions and should avoid certain food?
  4. Whether the child is having enough physical exercises and games balanced by rest?
  5. Whether the child with physical challenges is able to cope at home and school environment?
  6. Does the child know how to maintain hygiene? Is the child over conscious about his body figure?
  7. Does the child overeat or starves herself?
naughty kids
image source – https://pixabay.com/en/photos/mother%20and%20child/

Developmental stage:

The kid’s brain keeps developing until they are adolescents. Sometimes the development may be too slow or too fast for the age. Parents who understand the development process of their child would be able to cope better with the demands and trails of a growing child. When the brain’s growth is slow or fast, the following complications can be observed.

  1. A child of three and a half to four are able to understand and follow instructions. If it is not happening, there is something wrong.
  2. Some children due to overstimulation of glands become hyperactive. They have no control over themselves or their actions and cause harm to themselves and others.
  3. For some children, even normal routine activities can cause fatigue. whereas some children need to burn their extra energy by doing activities.
  4. Sometimes a child may not be equipped to deal with overwhelming emotions such as anger, fear or frustrations.
  5. A child may not be able to resist something which is forbidden. Example – telling lies, cheating, bad-mouthing, steal, etc. They haven’t learned to exercise control.
  6. Children who have more access to electronic gadgets or love to have more playtime may not be able to concentrate on tasks or studies.
  7. Children may have difficulty following the instructions or language of the parents or teachers.
effects of naughty kids
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Asserting Independence:

As children grow, they want to assert their independence by wanting to do things on their own. In such situations, the parents have to be cautious parenting the child so that in the quest for freedom, he or she doesn’t hurt himself/herself or others. The parents should be prepared for such situations. Below are some of the scenarios where naughty kids may try to assert independence.

  1. Children will try to cross the boundaries set by their parents to assert their independence.
  2. Kids may not agree with the parents when selecting food, clothing or toys. They want to have their own choice.
  3. A child may try to dominate his or her friends, classmates or younger siblings by hurting or bad mouthing.
  4. Children when growing up want to do things on their own and try to act that they know everything.
  5. A child may like to handle money and spend on things they like.
  6. He/She may not understand the relationship issues between the adults in the family and feel alienated.
  7. The child is often on the crossroads whether to speak or not to speak the truth and is often in a dilemma.

What Are The Consequences of being naughty?

When the child deviates from the normal, there are chances he or she may get into trouble or get others into trouble. And if this is not checked in time the child may become a problem for others in the surrounding. He/she may get into the company of like-minded naughty kids and get into further trouble. Imposing discipline and punishing them without going into the root cause of the behavior may aggravate the situation and the child may become thick-skinned. In some cases, to avoid the punishment, the child may run away from home and fall prey to anti-social elements.

Effects on parents:

Parents can be stressed out, dealing with the kids. They may experience various emotions such as being annoyed, helpless, worn-out or in some cases frightening. They may not be equipped with the knowledge or the methods to deal with their kids who exhibit negative behavior. Sometimes the working parents may not have time or energy to deal with the errant child. Such parents who are unable to deal with their kids can seek the help of friends, relatives or childcare professionals. Some parents who are unable to deal with the naughty behavior of the child, move him to the boarding schools. Here under the supervision of teachers and wardens, he may learn to control his bad habits and behavior and focus on studies.

What Are The Ways for Handling Naughty Kids:

For handling naughty children parents should have maturity, patience and parenting skills. They should constantly observe the child and delve into reasons for the deviation from normal behavior and take measures to bring the child to the normal path. Parents should be consistent in their approach and fix limits. These are some situations which the parents can handle it if they have the awareness of positive parenting.

  1. Sometimes a child may show disruptive behavior like crying, banging or breaking things. Parents should take a strong stance and tell the child know that such behavior is unacceptable.
  2.  A child may not respond to parents or make friends and prefer to be alone. He or she may exhibit very violent behavior hurting self and others. Parents should seek the help of counselors.
  3. The child should be made to understand that being rude, angry and frustrated is unacceptable. The child should be taught anger control methods.
  4. Shouting, raising the hand or any harsh punishment may be a detriment for the child. Instead, praise and reward methods should be used.
  5. Never ever try to discipline the child in front of his friends or siblings. Discipline issues if dealt with privacy will have more effect.
  6. Help or advise of grandparents, relatives, friends or teachers can be taken to mold the child into a better individual.
  7. Keep a tab on activities of your child as well as her friends to find out what influence they have on her.
  8. Know that children with physical or mental challenges would have different problems and should be dealt with differently.
  9. Never ever react immediately when the child has done something wrong. At that time as parents, we will be in a state of anger and our judgment will be clouded.
  10. Punishment for bad behavior should be in the form of time-out or taking away some of the privileges eg., treat, watching television etc.
naughty kids
Img Source – https://pixabay.com/en/photos/mother%20and%20child/

Activities that can motivate children:

  1. A reward can act as an encouragement for the child whenever she or he has done a good job or behaved well.
  2. As parents take out time to listen to the child.
  3. Engage the child in games or activities so that the energy gets channelized.
  4. Reading books, watching good movies, involving in creative activities etc can motivate children to have positive behavior.
  5. Sometimes a trip, camping or stay with a relative during vacations can give time for the child to observe, interact and behave.
  6. Delegating responsibilities, such as taking care of a pet, doing errand etc helps the child forget unwanted behavior.
  7. Activities such as yoga, dance, exercise, gardening etc., can help the child to control the mind and body and be away from the negative impact of computer, gadgets, phone, and television.

Parents as Role Models:

The parents should first behave like how they would want their child to behave. A family which shares a good relationship among the family members raises well-behaved children. If the parents are fighting and shouting at each other in front of the child, the child either gets disturbs or tries to imitate his parent’s behavior. When it is too late the parents realize that it is they who are to be blamed for the child’s behavior. As parents, we should be very careful and be aware that our child is watching us. When there is a custody battle, speaking ill or showing anger towards the partner may hurt or upset the child. Having cordial relations between with your ex will help the child to have a balanced personality away from any negativity.

naughty kids
Image Source – https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2599435/Shouting-naughty-children-makes-behaviour-WORSE-scientists-dont-know-exactly-why.html

Closing Thoughts –

“Children aren’t coloring books. You don’t get to fill them with your favorite colors”. Khaled Hosseini. Every parent dreams of raising a perfect kid but it takes effort, understanding, and patience. A child is not a child who is not naughty, mischievous or does mistake. As they grow, they come out of it naturally. A little guidance, discipline and positive reinforcement from the parents or the caretakers will help the naughty kids understand it’s consequences and avoid the blunders.

Radhika is a freelance poet, writer and teacher settled at Secunderabad. She is also a life skills trainer for children. Her articles and poems have been published in Woman's Era, Teacher Plus, The Hindu and websites like wow parenting. Her husband Rayudu and son Prashanth support and inspire her in her endeavours.