HKQ Kids

Guiding your Kids to Healthy Behavior

Discipline.  Many confuse it with physical punishment.  But discipline is really about guidance – helping kids learn about what is expected of them. Kids learn best when they feel safe and secure, and their good behavior is encouraged.  The key is, to have a close relationship with your kids, as well as clear rules and expectations.

Children aren’t born knowing how to behave. Young children often show their feelings in how they behave. They may not have the words to express themselves, so they act out. Many times, parents and other adults misread this as being naughty. Kids can feel overwhelmed and out of control, frustrated, angry or disappointed – and just may not have the words to express how they are feeling.

Just like adults, children need to be heard and understood when they are upset. Staying calm and talking with your kids in language they understand will help. If your kids are upset, encourage them to express their feelings safely, and that no matter what, you will keep loving them, even when they are upset. Every child is different. Strong-willed children will act differently, and may be more stubborn. Children with disabilities may need a different kind of guidance.

Here are some steps you can take to help guide your kids to healthy behavior:

  • Plan ahead. If planning a day trip with your toddler, think ahead. They will probably get bored and act out. Plan your day in short bursts of activity. This will help keep them occupied, and they won’t get as tired.
  • Teach them your values. Explain to your child why you want them to do something.
  • Be a role model. Act as you would want your children to act. They will copy what you do.
  • Praise good behavior. Tell them how proud you are of them, it makes them feel good, and will make them want to please you even more.
  • Build responsibility. Teach your kids how to problem-solve. Let them learn by doing. And, if they make mistakes, encourage them to do better.
  • Be clear about rules. Set your rules and limitations, and don’t waiver.

Open and honest communication with your kids at any age is always a good idea. Planning ahead, setting rules and guidelines, and establishing values will help your kids develop into responsible young adults.