More Kid Behaviors
When Children Fight
Try not to interfere in children's fights unless someone is going to get hurt or bullying is present. By allowing children to resolve their own conflicts they learn to get along better. Many fights are provoked to get the parent involved, and by separating the children or acting as judge we fall for their provocation, thereby stimulating them to fight more. (Of course, children should not be allowed to cause harm to each other, in that case, parent intervention is necessary and the problem between the children needs to be resolved, as well as providing logical consequences if that type of fight erupts again.)
Fighting requires cooperation. We tend to consider cooperation as inherent in a positive relationship only. When children fight they are also cooperating in a mutual endeavor. Often the younger, weaker child provokes a fight so the parents will act against the older child. When two children fight, they are both participating and are usually equally responsible.
Training & Teaching
Take time for training and teaching the child essential skills and habits. Don't attempt to train a child in a moment of conflict or in the company. The parent who "does not have time" for such training will have to spend more time correcting an untrained child.
Don't regularly do for a child what he can do for himself. A dependent child is a demanding child. Children become irresponsible only when we fail to give them opportunities to take on responsibility.
Overprotection pushes a child down. Parents may feel they are giving when they act for a child; actually, they are taking away the child's right to learn and develop. Parents have an unrecognized prejudice against children; they assume children are incapable of acting responsibly. When parents begin to have faith that their children can behave in a responsible way, while allowing them to do so, the children will assume their own responsibilities.
Positive & Negative Attention
Distinguish between positive and negative attention if you want to influence children's behavior. Feeling unable to gain positive attention, and regarding indifference as intolerable, children resort to activities which get them negative attention. Negative attention is evidence that they have succeeded in accomplishing their goals.
Understand the child's goal. Every action of a child has a purpose. His basic aim is to have significance and his place in the group. A well-adjusted child has found his way toward social acceptance by cooperating with the requirements of the group and by making his own useful contribution to it. The misbehaving child is still trying, in a mistaken way, to feel important in his own world. For example, a young child who has never been allowed to dress himself (because "the parent is in a hurry"), who has not been allowed to help in the house ("you're not big enough to set the table"), may lack the feeling that he is a useful, contributing member of the family, and might feel important only when arousing a parent's anger and annoyance with misbehavior.