Breaking bad habits in kids
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.