5 Effective Ways To Manage Out Of Control Kids

Ways To Manage Out Of Control Kids

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Kids can be a handful, and as a parent you probably know all about this quality. Chances are, you already have a set of consequences and rules for her to follow.

But, when your sweet-faced toddler behaves in a manner that is completely out-of-control, it can leave you angry, shocked, and last but not least, anxious. If you can identify with this situation, or you are looking for some pointers on how to deal with difficult children, read our post. Here, we offer some pointers that may help you better deal with your out-of-control kids.

Reasons For Your Kid’s Out-Of-Control Behavior:

Your kid can showcase out-of-control behavior for many reasons, some of which include:

  • Your kid wants your attention (feels unloved, lacks confidence).
  • He is unwell or sick (physical illness, emotional problems).
  • He is facing a challenging situation at school (bullying, change of teachers/curriculum, lack of friends etc).
  • He is upset by a change at home (parent’s divorce, change of location/home etc).
  • He can get away with it (has to face no consequences) [1]

[ Read: Child Anger Management ]

Dealing With Out-Of-Control Child:

As a parent, you can take several measures to deal with your out-of-control kid.

1. Establish Authority:

You want to be a cool parent. You don’t want to be a nag. But you are a parent and more than being a cool mom/dad, you need to be an authority, a caretaker and a guardian to your offspring [2]. Most of all, your kid wants you to be his parent. He has his own set of friends. But you are the only parents he has, so be one.

Action Steps:

  • Your child may misbehave as he doesn’t have a sense of right and wrong. Teach your child what is acceptable behavior at home/outside, what is not and take it from there.
  • Encourage your child to communicate with you. Ask questions and let him know that you expect an answer. There are times parents need to really interrogate their way into their child’s life to know what’s troubling them. This will help you go to the root of the problem. Does he need medical attention? Is he suffering from a behavior disorder? Is he a victim of bullying or just crying for your attention?
  • Always keep a tab on your kid’s whereabouts. Older children and teens are notorious for keeping their parents in the dark about their outings with friends. Hiding their whereabouts from parents can be a sign of troubled behavior on your child’s part [3]

2. Define Rules:

Simply saying ‘be good’ may not be enough. Your ‘good’ may differ from your child’s definition of ‘good’. So, clarify rules so that there is no ambiguous way your child can get out of them. For instance, you can use clear statement for what you want them to do. ‘Always make your bed’ or ‘don’t use your electronic devices at dinner’. Also, make age-appropriate rules. Some rules may apply to all your kids. But if you have a toddler and a teen at home, you may have to separate the guidelines for them on some rules [4].

Action Steps:

  • Set routines around the house. Routines can make kids feel safe. When your child knows what and when to do something, he is likely to be more in control of his behavior. With your authority and fixed set of rules to follow, your child knows that breaking the rule may not go down well with you [5].
  • Use ‘show and tell’ to help your kids understand the importance of rules. So, your older kid often hits his younger sibling. Let him know how it upset you and why such behavior is unacceptable.

[ Read: How To Deal With A Stubborn Child ]

3. Set Consequences:

Setting rules without rewards and punishment is not a very effective way to discipline your kids. Your kids must know that if they misbehave, they can’t get away with it.

Action Steps:

  • Make it a habit to reward good behavior. This will enforce in your kids the idea that good behavior equals good things. Another benefit of rewarding good behavior is that your child is less likely to resort to misdemeanor just to get your attention.
  • Set punishments that would affect them. Take away their computer/television/internet privileges. Enforce a ‘no video games week’ [6].
  • Pay attention to your child when he is demonstrating good behavior. Ignore him during tantrums. You don’t want to unknowingly rewarding his bad behavior through your attention.

4. Follow Through:

Empty threats don’t make for strong parenting controls. If you have set consequences for an act, follow through on it. If you don’t do as you say, your child is likely to abuse it and likely use it to his advantage [7].

Action Steps:

  • Settle on punishments that you can enforce on your kids. If you can’t make your child miss the ‘after-dinner dessert special’, don’t threaten to do so. You don’t want your kids to see you as just ‘empty-threats-no-good’ parent.
  • Spend some time to mentally prepare a list of rewards and punishments. This way you won’t have to dawdle in front of your kids when it’s time to act as an authority figure. Your surety will come across as a confident parenting skill. Your kids can’t cross that line. And if by chance they do, you will know what to do.
  • Be consistent with rules, punishment and rewards.

5. Take Notes:

There is no point to rewards and consequences if there is no learning involved through a specific situation. It applies to both parents and the children. Unless your child reflects on his behavior and understands the reasons for his punishment, he is likely to act out again in the same manner and with greater intensity [8].

Action Steps:

  • Ask your child to spend some time alone in his room following an angry outburst. Let him come to a conclusion by himself about the justification of his punishment. When it’s done, you can enforce a punishment as you deem fit in the situation.
  • When your kid is misbehaving, spend time alone to reflect on the situation to understand it better. Have you, in any way as a parent, contributed to your child’s out-of-control behavior?

[ Read: How To Help Kids Develop Self Control ]

There are no set guidelines for parenting out-of-control kids. Best way to handle a difficult situation involving your kids is to do what works best for you and your kids. With some trial and error on your part, you can find your own guidelines that best befit your family.

How do you handle the situation when your kids misbehave?

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