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How to Stop Bratty Behavior in a Child

Anuja Marathe Kanhere
Parenting is a full-time job and handling a bratty kid is a tough task. It is the parents' sole responsibility to make their children well mannered. Here are a few tips to keep your child's brattish behavior in check.
Training a child to be well-mannered and polite at all times is like shaping a ball of soft clay into the best shape. It takes some initial efforts and patience on part of the parents but the results usually tend to be long-lasting. A child usually displays a bratty behavior for testing and judging the parent's responses to his demands or actions.
It is parents' responsibility to identify the situation and react accordingly. Parents however need to accept the situation of a bratty child on their hands rather than being in denial. My article will give you essential tips to identify a bratty child and ways to discipline him.

Is My Child a Brat?

  • Your child throws fits and temper tantrums if any of his wish is not fulfilled.
  • He insults all friends and family members.
  • He is rude to his friends and classmates. He refuses to share his books and toys.
  • Your child tries to be the center of attention all the time.
  • He constantly make demands for new things. e.g., toys, books, clothes and stationary.
  • He is least helpful with any work and activities at home or school.
Parents are often confused with this question. Many times, they forgo and forgive a display of bratty behavior out of love for their child. Many parents are in denial of such a situation and tend to cover up under the pretext that it is the child's age to demand and get wishes fulfilled. Parents tend to give in to the child's demands because of his age.
However, it would do the child and his parents a whole lot of good if the situation is identified well in time with an open mind.

If you find some or all of these attributes in your child, then you do have a bratty child on your hands.

How to Control Bratty Behavior?

► Emphasizing BOSS

It is essential to make it clear through all your actions that you are the boss.
The child may use some of his bratty behavior strategies or emotion play to get control over his parent's mind. But parents need to be very firm. This can be explained by a simple example.
Assume that you are visiting the mall on a weekend with your child. while going around the mall, your child starts throwing tantrums because you refused to buy him a new toy. You may explain to your child that the toy is not needed right then or that it is too expensive.
If your child continues to throw tantrums, then immediately leave the mall with your child. This will give your child a fair idea that he or she cannot boss you around with tantrums.

► Setting Examples

One essential method used for controlling bratty behavior is by setting examples for your child to see and follow. Always do what you preach.
If there is a conflict between what you teach and what you do then the child will either get confused and will feel that parents are not to be taken too seriously.

► Teach Sharing

Many times, we see children who avoid sharing their books and toys. They display a selfish behavior and bully anyone who play with their toys.
It is essential to inculcate the idea of sharing in your child's mind by simply following the 'sharing game' at home. You may narrate instances of sharing to your child during routine conversations and explain how sharing benefits everyone.

► Yelling or Whining Child

Often, parents do not give enough attention to what their child is saying. If this happens quite routinely, the child is tempted to use an 'attention grabbing' strategy to meet his demands.
He reasons that parents never respond when he asks in a normal tone, so he starts yelling or whining to get his parent's attention to his demands.
A simple solution to this problem is to be attentive to your child as much as you can and build a friendly rapport with your child. Make the child understand that you expect only normal conversations with him at all times.

► Respecting Elders

From his early days, you may inculcate in your child a habit of respecting all elders around him.
The child may be made to understand the importance of speaking politely and helping all the elders. Any extra effort taken by the child in this regard should be rewarded and appreciated.

► Controlling Temper Tantrums

If your child is habituated to display bouts of anger and tantrums in private and public, then it is best to ignore the child for the time being.
The child should be made to understand, that you will respond to nothing but normal behavior and polite requests.

► Earn and Enjoy

If your child is materialistic and demanding, you may encourage your child to spare time for some household work and save money for whatever things he wishes to buy.
This inculcates a habit of saving as well as makes the child understand the value of money and hard work. At the same time, the child will learn to appreciate parents' efforts to provide them good education and lifestyle.

► Reasoning and Explanation

Never refuse an unreasonable demand made by a child without giving an explanation.
It is wrong to assume that the child is incapable of understanding the reasons of refusal. Be absolutely clear and outspoken about reasons why you are rejecting the child's demand. Be positive and suggest better alternatives to your child. This will surely control his bratty behavior.

► Balanced Diet

Research shows that a balanced diet makes a healthy mind and a healthy mind is often bound to be more creative. Hence, a healthy diet is often said to control the bratt behavior of the child up to some extent.

► Don't Give Options

In event of display of brattish behavior, the child should be politely but firmly told about its dire consequences. Never say anything that would mean that punishment will be levied on repeated behavior. Instead emphasize that brattish behavior is never to be repeated. You may levy a timeout or detain the child for some work as a punishment for his actions.

► Early Start

Controlling your child's bratty behavior and inculcating good manners is an ongoing process. However, it needs to be started at a very young age so that the ideas get deep-rooted in your child's mind.

► Consistency Approach

Parents should ensure consistency of rules when handling bratty siblings. At the same time, rules set once should be continuously adhered to. Many times, there is a difference in disciplinary approach followed by either parents. There should be a parental unity in setting of rules and ensuring that the child is following them.
I am aware that there is a huge difference between suggesting some ideas and actually implementing them as a parent. Do not be tender-hearten when setting rules to control brattish behavior. You may find your kids adorable and too difficult to scold. But hold on! Always remember that it is better to control the situation in its initial stages than trying to train a bratty teenager. So, wish you happy parenting!