Tackling Rude Behavior

 Generally speaking children who exhibit rude behavior can cause harm to a family/home. They can waste valuable interaction time, and they can set a bad example for siblings to follow. Most of all it can cause the parent stress. The NEA suggests 3 methods that can help you as a parent to manage this kind of behavior.

1. Modeling

One of the most powerful teaching tools is for an adult to model respect and caring with his/her children. Young people tend to reflect the behavior they see. They certainly feel the effects of the thoughtful adults around them.

Example: Shouting at a child to stop shouting does not provide a positive model nor does it send the right message. As a matter of fact it is considered counter productive and may even reinforce the negative behavior.

The rule of thumb here is to act the way you want your children to act.

2. Direct Instruction

For those children who cannot make the connection between observing positive behavior and applying it in their lives, parents must provide direct instruction, which helps other siblings as well. Direct authoritative language works better than shouting and losing control. Make sure your message is positive and constructive.

Example: Instead of saying “stop hitting!” say “Please keep your hands to yourself. Use a gentle touch, please”.

 3. Practice

Practice is important for building any skill, including a social one. Take the skill of getting along peacefully where negative behavior is disapproved by the classroom community as a whole. The earlier this is established during the semester, the better. In the short run it provides a healthy and positive learning environment, and in the long run it creates a constructive member of society.

Example: Ask the child to point out bad/good behaviors by other children. This way the child will avoid bad behavior and pursue good behavior in the future.

Keep touching the future!


Abdulaziz Abal, Ph.D.


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