Parenthood is a roller coaster ride of emotions. First you find out that you're pregnant-you're filled with glee, some fear and mostly excitement. Then you get closer to your delivery date, and then you have no clue what to expect. The day your child is born, you are so relieved that he or she is healthy and happy. From the moment you take your precious little angel home, you realize that all the books and guides and articles probably got it wrong. Your child apparently does not fit all the labels you mentally prepared yourself for. He is just unique.
As your child gets older, you wonder why he is so different than the kids you've worked with or babysat in the past. So what determines your child's behavior? Well, you're in luck.
1) Genetics: Every child is genetically predisposed to act in a certain way-it's called temperament. Some babies cry a lot, while others keep it cool and calm. Some kids are shy and others will make friends with anyone with a heartbeat. Some kids are sensitive and others are not. Temperament pretty much stays stable throughout a child's life. What's important is not changing your child's temperament, but figuring out how to understand him and nurture his unique strengths.
It's not helpful at all to compare your child to others who have a different temperament. Think of it this way, would you like to be constantly compared to Beyonce, Hilary Clinton or your sister? Okay. So cut out the comparisons.
2) Your child's health: Sometimes your child acts up because he isn't feeling too well. Sometimes people say a child doesn't pay attention, but maybe he has a hearing problem. Or perhaps your child is acting more cranky than normal because he has an upset stomach or he's hungry or tired. Or maybe he's just having a bad day.
So before you get upset or impatient with your child, check to see if he is in tip top health. Remember, your child isn't a robot-he will have bad days along with good days. I'm sure you can relate.
3) The home environment: The way you treat your child within the home really does affect his behavior. Is your home clean? Is your child comfortable and relaxed when he's at home? Is there a ton of chaos, is the home too loud or too quiet for your child? Are family members being mean to your child or does he feel like he is loved and cherished in the home? What type of foods is he being fed? Perhaps he has food allergies or sensitivities that you're not aware of. Is there a lot of stress or are family members generally in a good mood? Are his siblings kind to him?
If a child feels nurtured in the home, he is more likely to be able to be calm and focused. But if there is general chaos, if he spends a lot of time being upset at home or if he's bullied in the home, chances are he'll act out or become more timid. So are you providing an emotionally secure home for your child?
4) The social environment: You also have to think about his neighborhood, his school, place of worship and other places he visits. Is his school a happy place or does he have a difficult time with classmates and teachers? These are all questions you should be asking your child regularly-just to make sure things are going smoothly when you're not there. Sometimes kids are too scared to speak up, so it's your job as a parent to ask the important questions.
Does your child have good influences in the neighborhood who make him feel important and supported? What types of shows or cartoons is he allowed to watch? These days kids have access to all sorts of content through social media and electronic devices. Ensure that babysitters and other caregivers are only exposing your child to age appropriate books, music and videos. All these things can drastically affect your child's behavior. If you're confused as to what content is age appropriate just ask other parents or look for reviews online.
If you’ve ever thought about attending a parenting class so you can sharpen your skills, read this post What does a parenting class look like?
So there you have it, these are 4 factors that influence your child's behavior. If you're in the Murrieta or Temecula area and you are interested in attending a class that teaches you more about the emotional needs of your child, how to improve your relationship with your child, as well as how to implement rules, my Toddlers to Tweens parenting class might just be for you. Click here to schedule a free consultation call to find out more about the parenting class and see if the class is right for you. You can also call me at 951-905-3181 to figure out if the class is right for you. Remember, parenting doesn’t have to be rocket science. Call today to find out how to simplify your life.