Question:

My eldest son is now 30mths old he is starting to learn all the “bad” behaviors and habits. He will say things like “I’ll beat you” & do not like to be controlled. He does not respond to anyone readily now. Will take ages to come for food/change clothes etc. Would like to find out the following or get some advise on dealing with child’s bad behavior.

  1. How to control a child’s behavior & temper?
  2. How to make the child listen to parents/grandparents instructions?
  3. How to encourage the child to self feed? Seems like in school he is suppose to self feed but at home my mum like to feed him instead of letting him to self feed as she says he eat too slowly & than will mess up the place etc…
  4. Need to get my boy to understand that he needs to set a good example to my girl who is now 13mths old

Answer:

When children reach the age of 2 years, they start to want to take control as they are becoming more independent. Focus on your child’s strength and try to give him a little more responsibility especially on things that he is able to help you do such as fetching a diaper for sister, etc.

Childhood Behavior

Set boundaries and expectations that your child can understand. Be consistent and persistent in the rules and regulations. Remember that your son is not very much older than his sister. It may difficult for him to understand that he has to be a role model for the sister.

Be careful about comparing the nature or abilities of the two children as each child is an individual with different personalities. Having a younger sister may cause your son to display certain behaviors in order to get more attention.

Provide lots of praises for good behavior while be firm with the child when it is an inappropriate behaviour. Sometimes, it also helps to talk about good behaviours.

There are stories in books about good behaviors and the consequences of inappropriate behaviors that you can read to the child. Enlist the help of the grandparents to be consistent in being firm when the child displays an undesirable behaviour. They can also help by not interfering when you are being firm with the child. You can also work with your mum on weaning off feeding your son gradually.

In the initial stages, it may be helpful to put newspaper on the floor to reduce the mess. With more practice and skills, dealing with your child’s bad behavior will be easier. It may also be helpful to let his sister to do some self feeding too so that he is not jealous that the sister is being fed while he has to learn to feed himself.