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5 kids' bad habits that can be turned into a good thing

Is your child driving you up the wall with her bad habits and various antics? Here's how you can help turn that negative behavior into something positive!

Is your child really as naughty as you think she is? Or is she just struggling to find a better way to express herself?

Instead of punishing or chastising your little one for these presumably bad habits, as parents you can learn to identify how to flip it around and how to help your child channel her energy into more positive activities.

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Do your children have bad habits such as fighting with one another?

Rough play and dangerous stunts

If you often catch your kid leaping off the sofa, climbing onto the table top, or wrestling with his siblings and sometimes even play fighting, you might worry about your children’s safety.

Possible causes: Kids learn through play so by rough-housing with one another or carrying out various stunts, it helps them develop many skills.

Your child might not be getting enough exercise or the opportunity to engage in physical activities.

Our suggestion: Encourage your little one to take part in (safe!) physical activities such as running around at the outdoor playground, picking up a sport, cycling around the neighborhood, or even doing fun things together as a family.

Telling lies

You ask your child if she’s completed her homework and she looks you straight in the eye and says that she has, or that her teacher was away on holiday so there was no homework assigned for the week — but you later discover that much to your disappointment, this was actually a lie.

Possible causes: Young kids (around three to seven years old) are still learning to differentiate between fantasy and reality, so if your little one is telling tall tales, it’s probably just due to her wild imagination.

Once she turn five years old, she will slowly begin to understand the concept of telling a lie and also understand the importance to always be truthful, but could also be pushing her limits to see what she can get away with.

If you find your older child constantly telling fibs, it could possibly be due to a fear of being punished if she told the truth about a certain situation.

Our suggestion: Try not to be too hard on your child and make her understand that it’s better to be honest; don’t be quick to punish her all the time, or she will fear telling you the truth.

If she seems to be filled with so many creative stories, put that imagination to good use and let her pen down her tales on paper.

You can also enrol her in a Drama class so she has another way to express herself and let her creative juices flow.

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You might adore your little one’s artwork, but maybe not directly all over your walls and furniture!

Drawing on furniture and breaking things

Most parents agree that once you have kids, it takes a lot of guts to have white furniture, white walls and delicate ornamental decor, because chances are that your little munchkins are bound to stain, scribble on, or break something!

Possible causes: To a child, a wall is like a blank canvas and during their early development, it’s easier for her to draw on something in front of her (such as your lovely clean wall) rather than something that’s placed downwards (like a piece of paper).

As for breaking things, most of the time kids are just busy exploring the world around them and still figuring out how things work.

Junior didn’t intend to break your DVD player, but he was just curious to know how many crayons she could shove inside the slots before the lights started to flicker.

Our suggestion: Keep breakable items (such as vases, photo frames, etc) out of your child’s reach and make sure that your house is child-safe for her own protection, as well as your favourite vase!

Gently remind your little one that drawing on the walls is not allowed and try taping up some large pieces of paper on the wall instead, or invest in a small easel to stick up some paper there for her to doodle on.

You can also let your aspiring Picasso draw and paint to her heart’s content in a fun art class for kids.

Go to the next page to read more about other bad habits that kids have that can turn out to be something positive!

Excessive screen time

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Is your child constantly glued to a mobile device or the television?

In this modern day and age, it is not an uncommon sight to see kids or even babies glued to a mobile device of some sort, watching their favorite online video or even playing a child-friendly game — but is it too much?

Possible causes: Children often imitate their parents, so if you are constantly using your mobile phone in front of your little ones, or like to watch movie marathons at home, chances are that they will pick up this habit too.

Your child could possibly just be bored and doesn’t know what else to do to occupy her time besides reaching for that handheld device and scrolling through the endless videos available on Youtube.

Our suggestion: Lead by example and try to limit your own screen time so that your child may follow suit.

Set a timer to indicate how much screen time she’s allowed and stick to your rules.

When your child does use a mobile device or watches TV, monitor the shows that she’s exposed to and find some educational programmes for her instead.

Download educational apps so that she can practice her letters and numbers or a new skill (such as learning a second language).

But also remember to encourage your little one to take in physical activities and get some sunshine outdoors.

Teasing and fighting with siblings

No parent wants to see sibling rivalry among their own children, but unfortunately this may be a reality for some and you might be at your wit’s end trying to figure out how to stop your kids from fighting and squabbling with one another.

Possible causes: Sibling rivalry can be due to feelings of jealousy and a strong sense of competition for kids to prove to themselves (and often, their parents) that they are the “better” child.

Although this is perfectly normal, it might get out of hand and turn into full blown fist fights or mean-spirited name-calling.

Some children may also not know the positive ways to interact with their sibling, so picking a fight seems to be the only way they know how to get attention.

Our suggestion: Spend enough one-on-one time with each child to avoid any feelings of neglect or favoritism.

Try not to over-praise one child over the other or compare your children to one another, as this could cause them to feel jealous and resentful.

Teach your kids how to play well together and which words to use for more positive interactions.

For older siblings, give them a sense of responsibility by assigning them tasks to help out with the younger ones — you’d be surprised how well they can take on to this role!

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A poor diet could affect your child’s behaviour, so make sure he gets all the right nutrients

Good nutrition plays a part

Your child’s nutrition not only helps with her growth and development, but it can also affect her behavior.

To make sure that your little one achieves optimal mental and behavioral performance at all times, it is important that she gets the right nutrients through her daily diet.

Studies have shown that essence of chicken has been proven to help combat mental fatigue and can improve your performance of cognitive tasks. This dietary supplement for kids also comes with Vitamin B Complex which will boost your little one’s mental alertness and concentration; or with premium grade Lycium (Wolfberries) to help improve her eyesight.

Kids will be kids

Remember that your child is not acting out just to intentionally rile you up — there is a reason behind her actions and you just have to be patient and try to figure out the root of the cause before you chastise or punish her supposed bad behavior.

Help your child find better ways to express herself, communicate her feelings or channel her energy to something more positive.

You will have a much happier child on your hands and a more peaceful household too!

*prior to minor edits, this advertorial was originally published on theAsianparent Singapore

READ: 10 children’s cartoons that teach bad habits

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