3 Creative Ways to Curb Bad Behavior

Turn up the music. Everything can be made better with a song. Did you ever notice what happens when you sing the clean-up song? The kids clean up. Or how about when you turn on some soothing, classical music when a baby is fussy? He stops fussing. Looking to get the kids moving? Pop in some upbeat music.  Music has the power to change a child’s mood and his perception of the world. And this idea isn’t for the birds. A 2011 study by Meurs Jolij at the University of Groningen showed that “the music you are listening to might alter the way you perceive the world.” The next time the kids are whining, fighting, or otherwise not listening, sing your requests, put on a song, and see what happens next.

Put on a “Get Along” t-shirtAre your kids constantly fighting over whose Legos are whose? Does one of your darling daughters refuse to let the other one join in and play too? Enter the “Get along t-shirt,” an idea has been making its rounds on Facebook and Pinterest. Simply purchase or use a large, men’s white short-sleeved t-shirt and write “We will get along” on it with a Sharpie. When the kids aren’t getting along, pull out the t-shirt, slip it over both of their heads and stick one child’s arm out each sleeve. Leave them in it until they can demonstrate that they can and are willing to play nicely together.

Pretend you don’t understand. Tired of whining, tattling and tantrums? The next time your child comes to you and starts whining, stare at her like she has two heads and insist you just don’t understand what she’s trying to say. Let her know that you just can’t process the language she’s speaking and ask her to speak in her regular, indoor voice. If she’s tattling, insist you don’t hear someone is hurt so you can’t understand anything else she’s saying. If she’s having a temper, be sure she is in a safe area, turn your back and don’t respond until she’s done. When kids don’t have an audience, they’re less likely to keep up the performance.

While there are many parenting strategies that can work for curbing bad behavior, sometimes throwing a surprise response to bad behavior into the mix can offer the shock needed to reset a child’s system and get them back on the right behavioral track.

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