Does your little girl chew her nails to nibs? Has your child held his breath until he turned blue because you denied him an ice cream cone? Don’t fret – you’re not the only ones who find this behavior batty and annoying and yes, there is a way to change it.
Now, the most important thing you need to know when you want to change an unwanted behavior is to first understand the reason why your child does it. More often than not, bad habits are a coping mechanism and your little boy or girl may fall back on these mannerisms when they are anxious, bored, frustrated, fatigued, insecure, stressed, unhappy, or sleepy. Many of these so-called bad habits are soothing to the child, even if they seem socially inappropriate for adults.
Not to worry though, since these behaviors are just emotional phases and most are not indicative of serious medical problems most of the time. Rest assured, your child will eventually outgrow them. Managing them can be a challenge, however. In most cases, you should simply ignore bad habits. Yelling at your child, calling attention to the habit, humiliation and punishment do not usually work to stop the behavior and may even boost its frequency. Instead, use the three Ps – Patience, Praise and Positive rewards.
Here are the some of these behavioral traits and how to deal with them:
1. Body Rocking – This is when a child rocks back and forth rhythmically while either resting on their elbows or knees, or while seated. This mannerism is observed at around six months and usually disappears by age two. Most children do this for fifteen minutes or less while falling asleep or listening to soothing music, and is known to be a self-comforting habit. There is cause for concern if the child is also experiencing developmental delays so consult your pediatrician for further insight.