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Dealing with Problem Children @1:41 am

How many times have we, as parents or teachers, expressed frustration and dismay in our dealings with children? We are often quick to brand some children as problematic. Often the problems with these children originated from us, the parents and guardians. Children’s minds are like a sponge, so we cannot blame them for being vulgar if we, as parents, often utter strings of vulgarities indiscriminately.

Parents have to assume full responsibility for the upbringing and behaviours of their children. Any parents who dispute this statement are not ready for parenthood. Before a child is born, parents have to strategise on how to implement the best possible path of education and development for their children. Organisational behaviour teaches us that character cannot be changed, only behaviour can be modified. Once a child has been spoiled and picked up bad habits, it will be very difficult to change him or her. No psychiatrist, councillor or teacher would be able to correct or remould a child who has unconsciously picked up traits that are undesirable.

Setting rules and boundaries

No matter which stage of development your child is in now, as their parents, we must make a change in his or her life. We can perhaps start by watching our language around our child. Parents must put their feet down if their child listens to music that contains offensive lyrics or surfs websites that are obscene. Parents must not push the burdens and responsibilities of upbringing to their child’s tutors, the maid or even his or her school teachers. Parents alone possess the right to set rules and boundaries for their children, and they must be watchful of the friends their child socialises with.

Seeking attention

After the age of nine, most children would put their friends on a higher priority than their own parents. They crave the attention and approval of their peers. Such behaviour is more prominent in families whose  parents spend very little time with their children. Children are social creatures; if they do not receive the care, attention and chance to interact with their parents, they will seek attention from their peers. Some may become withdrawn, spending long periods of time playing computer games. They may find so much positive reinforcement from the subliminal messages in these games that they begin to lose all sense of reality. Some children go so far as to ignore even hunger, parental nagging and friends’ invitation to join them in other activities.

Get involved

Parents must deliberately set aside time to listen and talk to their children. Parents  should also look out for signs and negative contents in their child’s possessions. A child needs a clear role model. If a parent is unable to fulfill that role in a child’s mind, he will pick his role model from TV characters or friends.

Investing time in your child’s welfare is the most rewarding investment of all. A parent may not think twice before spending vast sums of money on their child’s tuition or education, yet they sometimes come up with many excuses, like the lack of time or being too tired, to be personally involved in their child’s journey towards adulthood. The best way to deal with a problem child starts with us parents first.

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