By Dr. Claybour
No child is bad, but all children exhibit bad behaviors at one time or another. If bad behaviors
seem to be more common than not with your child, here are a few tips:
1) Pick your battles: if there are annoying but inconsequential things your toddler likes to do (eg, whining, tantrums, overreacting), try ignoring it. The more attention you pay to your child’s actions (even if it is negative attention), the more they may seem to do it.
2) Praise the little things your child does well. Even if you don’t think it is praise-worthy, they want to hear from their parent(s) that they’re dong a good job. And praise often, don’t wait for a major accomplishment to show them your appreciation.
3) For the behaviors that you can’t ignore (aggressive, disruptive, unsafe), focus on one or two problematic behaviors at a time: for example, hitting, biting, hair pulling or doing things that are unsafe. Try to intervene early and re-direct a child’s behavior to something more productive. Remove the child from the situation if necessary. If all else fails, a time out can be quite effective. Time outs should be as long as the child’s age (one minute for every year old the child is)