Break­ing bad habits in kids

Sunday Trust - - TAMBARI - with UCHE EZE

Imag­ine how dis­gusted you would feel, sit­ting next to a nose picker in a res­tau­rant or any where-else. Well, that dirty and neusat­ing char­ac­ter prob­a­bly started from child­hood, and was not con­trolled. Kids are highly im­pres­sion­able and as such pick up bad habits very eas­ily; thumb suck­ing, head bang­ing, nose pick­ing, hair twirling/hair pulling, ly­ing, whin­ing and curs­ing are a few bad habits kids pick up.

Habits span ev­ery age and while these habits may not phys­i­cally harm your child, they can hurt your child emo­tion­ally and so­cially if oth­ers see the habit as odd or dis­re­spect­ful.It’s hard enough to break our own bad habits. When it comes to help­ing our chil­dren break theirs, it can seem even more daunt­ing. Well, these steps will make it eas­ier.

How bad is it? First, take a look at the habit ob­jec­tively. Is it just an­noy­ing or is it phys­i­cally harm­ful? If your child con­tin­ues with this habit, will it make him look odd in the eyes of oth­ers? Once you de­cide how big of a prob­lem the habit is, move on to the fol­low­ing steps. What’s be­hind it? Take some time out to dis­cover why your child picked up that habit. Does your child start bit­ing his or her nails when she’s do­ing her home­work? Does she go for the thumb when in con­fu­sion? Fig­ure out what trig­gers the be­hav­ior. Of­fer a bet­ter op­tion. Once you iden­tify what’s be­hind your child’s habit, come up with op­tions to re­place it. Find suit­able sub­sti­tutes to re­place that de­vel­op­ing habit. Calmly re­mind him or her that a bad habit isn’t an op­tion. Use gen­tle re­minders. Once you’ve talked to your child about break­ing the habit, try not to nag. In­stead, if you see them do­ing that habit, come up with a sub­tle sig­nal to re­mind them of the re­place­ment op­tion for their habit. Mo­ti­vate and re­ward. Pos­i­tive re­in­force­ment is key. Set up a sys­tem to re­ward your lit­tle habit-breaker. Com­mend their ef­fort for try­ing to break the habit on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Don’t over­re­act. Sham­ing or yelling at your child to get them to break their habit prob­a­bly won’t work. Try to be pa­tient as you work through the process to­gether.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.