How to Deal With Uncontrollable Kids

by Candice Coleman, Demand Media
    Giving kids deserved positive attention can help them avoid acting poorly to get attention.

    Giving kids deserved positive attention can help them avoid acting poorly to get attention.

    Prepare to party, Moms -- you are about to uncover the mystery behind your kids' uncontrollable behavior! Just as a fire needs oxygen, your kids thrive on your reaction to their behavior. By adjusting how you approach your kids, you may soon be wrangling them like a pro.

    Step 1

    Look for events that trigger uncontrollable behavior in your children. Is it when a certain person arrives, when your child is told it's bed time or something else? Jot these down. Knowing when uncontrollable behavior is about to begin can help you dissuade your child from having a meltdown.

    Step 2

    Ignore temper tantrums. Your children are looking to get attention from you. By ignoring a temper tantrum, you are signaling that your tyke's behavior will not get him what he wants. After a tantrum, talk calmly to him about his problem. Showing concern and understanding for his feelings may teach him how to get what he needs through calmer means.

    Step 3

    Redirect your child's attention. "No" and "stop" are ignored after a while. When your tyke misbehaves, offer him an alternative course of action. If he is fighting with his sister, ask him if he would like to color with you instead.

    Step 4

    Issue a time out. Younger children often have difficulty expressing what they want or need and may resort to violence to meet their needs. Giving your child a few minutes away from the problem can help him calm down.

    Step 5

    Show consistency. Say what you mean and mean what you say, Mom -- issuing a punishment in the heat of the moment could come back to haunt you if you can't follow through on it. Give yourself a quick "time out" before you issue punishment.

    Step 6

    Explain what you expect of your kids. You might say, "It is not okay to hurt your brother. We do not hit. I'll set a timer, and when it goes off, you can trade toys with each other. If you keep hitting, you will have a time-out." Follow through every time, Mom -- or you may wind up encouraging poor behavior.

    Step 7

    Model the behavior you want your kids to show. Yelling, hitting and temper tantrums cause more yelling, hitting and temper tantrums. Consider discipline a conversation where you ask your kids about what they hoped to accomplish when they resorted to bad behavior. Keep a loving, but firm, tone.

    Tip

    • If a child's poor behavior leaves you consistently overwhelmed, talk to your tyke's pediatrician for more help.

    About the Author

    Candice Coleman worked in the public school system as a middle school and high school substitute teacher. In addition to teaching, she is also a tutor for high school and college students.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/Brand X Pictures/Getty Images