Does your child have frequent reprimands and you don’t know how to deal with them? Do you work with children and often these episodes interfere with your work, not knowing how to act? Do not despair, in this article you will find 7 step-by-step guidelines on how to handle children’s reprimands.
It is important to note, however, that beyond these guidelines, it will be important to intervene out of empathy and respect, by encouraging in him / her, the acquisition of personal resources to face these moments of anger. that sometimes they just don’t know how to do it.
Reproaches in childhood
Children’s reproaches are moments of anger and rage, sometimes overwhelming, Which appear in response to a stimulus, which may be internal (eg, sleeping a lot) or external (eg, not getting them to buy you something).
These usually appear at any age: from very young to adolescence. You can’t (and shouldn’t) act the same in front of them all, because every child is a world and goes through their own process.
Outraged, the causes of the reproaches are also very disparate: Immaturity, self-control, boredom, inappropriate parenting styles, discomfort, sadness, lack of resources, low tolerance for frustration …
With that said, it is worth knowing the following guidelines on how to handle reprimands from children, which they must always adapt to the age and time of development of the child. In addition, it will be important to investigate the cause of this tantrum to prevent it and, if it recurs, to act in a more effective and beneficial way for the child.
How to deal with children’s temper tantrums and reprimands
Here are some tips for dealing with children’s reprimands, suitable for any age. Remember that it will be important to apply them at the right time, and to know the child well, so that they are more effective.
1. Apply extinction
The first guideline we offer you on how to deal with children’s reprimands concerns a very effective behavior modification technique: extinction. It consists of stop paying attention to the child’s behavior, Which is maintained precisely by this attention or by any other action which reinforces (often without realizing it) this behavior.
For example, if a child cries to reprimand, because he wants to be listened to, and every time he cries, we pay attention to him, we maintain that behavior. Or if, for example, a child always swears and we constantly say “don’t say it”, it ceases to be effective. Practicing extinction is about “obviating” that behavior and not reinforcing it in any way.
Over time, the ducts that go out disappear. Logically, not all behaviors are susceptible to extinction (for example, if they are dangerous behaviors), and each specific case should be analyzed.
2. Reason with them
Another interesting pattern that we can apply to children’s reproaches is to reason with them. The conversation we have with them should be about that they reflect on their conduct and the purpose of the same.
Finally, we should encourage them to explore new behavioral alternatives to apply, rather than berating which, in the end, does not bring anything positive. The important thing is to encourage reflection.
3. Talk to them about how they feel
Regarding the directive above, it is important to also talk to them about how they are feeling at that time. Often times, we won’t be able to ask when the reprimand is happening, and we will have to wait a reasonable amount of time for the intensity of their response to diminish.
Once that happens, we can look for a moment of calm and a space with them, to talk about how they are feeling, why they are behaving this way, if there is something they are worried about, etc. Often after an outrage, another feeling is hidden, which may be sadness.. The investigation will be beneficial for both parties.
The fourth guideline on how to handle children’s reprimands relates to anticipation, a key tool in preventing many inappropriate behaviors. This point is not at all easy and needs to be worked on. Anticipating reprimands requires knowing a lot about our child and empathize with him as much as possible.
When we learn to detect small gestures of the face, body, a specific type of language, an emotion, etc. in it, before the rebuke, we can start to act. To anticipate, we must also know what our child may be feeling at that moment: anger because he is among so many people? Dissatisfied because we didn’t buy him what we wanted? Too much sleep because you didn’t sleep well?
Depending on that, our answer has to be one or the other. For example, keeping him away from people in case we are in a crowd, letting him know he can sleep when we get home, and so on.
5. Set limits you can stick to
It is very important in the educational process to set limits. However, “not all limits are valid” and we must also be moderate in this regard. Saying NO to everything is not beneficial for them, and flexibility is key.
Being flexible with your wants, but also your reprimands and needs, can help us prevent precisely those reprimands. If children constantly come up against the wall of NO preventing them from doing anything, they may feel suffocated and act with a rebuke as a result.
That is why from here we propose the following: Limits? Yes, but not for everything.
6. Play with them
Another guideline on how to handle reprimands from children is to just play with them. Sometimes kids’ reproaches arise because they are bored or because a plan has been “crushed”. they had in mind.
Faced with this, and always depending on the age of the child (adjust to this), sometimes a good option is to play with them, to distract them … Sometimes it is better to take away the importance à la rebequeria, do not let it spread too much and acquire excessive importance.
7. Manage your anger too
When faced with children’s reproaches, it is normal to get angry at some point, to feel overwhelmed … but, we must try to prevent our anger from appearing too, as this often intensifies the response of the child. ‘child.
This is why it is important that we as parents, educators, therapists … keep our calm and act accordingly.
- BM Newman, PR Newman, XM Villela and RR Perez. (1986). Manual of child psychology. Mexico: Science and Technology Publishing.
- Cavall, V. and Simón, MA (2002). Manual of clinical child and adolescent psychology. General disorders. Pyramid. Madrid.
- Comeche, MI and Vallejo, MA (2016). Handbook of Behavioral Therapy in Childhood. Dykinson. Madrid.