Most of us hate to admit that we have at least one of those irksome bad habits, such as nail biting, nose picking, knuckle cracking etc. Chances are that our bad habits are almost as old as we are. These unhealthy habits generally find their roots during childhood and succeed to grow and persist throughout our lives.
Children are innocent and generally unaware of their actions, hence they are most vulnerable to developing unhealthy habits easily. If these practices go unchecked at early stages, they become rigid bad habits for life. This is the reason why as parents, when we see our kids developing unhealthy habits, worry and concern are our instant reflexes.
Bad habits may be difficult but not impossible to break. With a bit of patience, care, observation and conscious efforts we can relieve our kids of bad manners.Following are some points that help in breaking the bad habits in children:-
Praising and rewarding the kids when they engage in good habits and avoid the bad ones consciously, is an excellent strategy. Letting them know that there good behaviour was noticed and appreciated helps boost their moral and gives them a reason to quit the bad habit.
Your child can only avoid the bad behaviour if they consciously want to. It is important to make them understand the reason behind a particular bad habit being termed unhealthy. With maturity your kid will understand these reasons and will naturally lose interest in the bad habit and give it up.
Kids may develop many bad habits together. One should not try to eliminate all of them together but rather prioritise the most damaging and bothersome habit first and work on the same. Parents should seldom lose their temper with the child, never embarrass your child in public. Discussing the problem with your child should be done in private.
Children generally practice these unwanted behaviour patterns because they are stressed. It is important to talk to the kids, observe and identify the reason causing the stress. Listening to their problem being patient, showing love and support and helping them deal with these stresses is vital in getting rid of these annoying habits. Understanding the causes also helps in finding creative alternatives and substitutes thereby helping to deviate the child’s mind and help him de-stress.
Establishing rules is important. Letting them know the consequences of violating the rules while implementing the same with authority helps to keep children bad habits in check. Being firm and consistent with the children while still being supportive is extremely important.
Developing sense of trust in your child , supporting him and loving him by being patient and sensitive promotes emotional stability. Give your child the opportunity to take decisions at times, this helps to develop self confidence and decision making skills.
Inculcating the sense of what is right and what is wrong, the good and the bad in the kids from their early days helps them to develop the appropriate values, habits and behaviour. Patient efforts from you, as a parent, help in breaking bad habits of children. Catching them young is the ideal mantra for the development of your child.