Just when you thought you’re done suffering from your child’s terrible twos stage, parents soon realize that preschool years are not exactly a walk in the park. As the preschooler expands his/her independence, he will develop a new set of behavioral problems. Take these changes as regular part of growing up and accept misbehavior as a learning process to realize the consequences of breaking the rules, and as time goes by, your preschooler will turn out wiser and more prepared for decision making. Experts gather and discussed the most common preschooler behavioral problems and how can parents address these issues.
The imagination of preschoolers is wild due to exposure to a variety of books, movies, television shows, and the internet where people, animals, and even things can perform extraordinary tasks. At times, they have difficulty identifying the real world and fantasy. Don’t be surprised when your child to make up stories and have imaginary friends. “Very young kids don’t know the difference between truth and fiction.” says Michael Brody, M.D., a child psychiatrist in Potomac, Maryland. While generally, these far-fetched tales are not harmful, it is essential to the teach the preschooler the stark difference between truth and lies. For instance, when your child tells a lie, clarify with him/her if the story is pretending or real in this way they will realize that there is a difference between the two.
Preschoolers believe that whining and begging would be a great negotiation tool to change your “no” into “yes.” Laurel Schultz says to avoid whining “It’s important to respond to that first bid for attention, if you can.” Whining might be annoying and irritating and at times, some parents submit to their child just to stop the behavior but giving in to their whines is a horrible mistake. This would cement their belief that he/she has power over things that he wants. Send the message loud and clear: No means No. Later on, he will realize that whining would not get him anywhere. “It’s important to respond to that first bid for attention, if you can,” Laurel Schultz says.
Regressing to baby talk is a normal part of preschooler’s progression. Sometimes, preschoolers baby talk due to stress, anxiety and seek attention. The approach for baby talk is the same with whining but set limits as well. Most of the time, baby talk is just a stage that will pass. Amy Morin, LCSW supports this statement, “It’s likely to just be a phase. With a few simple interventions, you can curb the bad habit before it gets out of control. Usually, it resolves relatively quickly with appropriate intervention.”
Preschoolers are fond of asserting their independence and most likely to say no or disagree with you. Put up a list household rule and its negative consequence in that way the rules and punishment are clear. Also, use positive reinforcement to promote compliance. Give praise as a reward system to increase chances of following instructions.
Temper tantrums do not disappear suddenly upon reaching this age; however, they might gain minimal or little mastery over temper tantrums. The impulse control is still questionable. Biting, hitting, and kicking might still be a concern. The best disciplining technique in response to aggressive behavior is consistency. Time-out is utilized in order to calm the child down. Take away privileges is also a practical consequence of aggression. Impart to your child problem-solving skills so that he will know how to resolve conflict peacefully.