Children, from toddlers to adolescents, are very much susceptible to bad habits. Some of the common bad habits in kids include, lashing out at others, disrespecting elders, biting nails, untidiness, sucking clothes, and drug abuse to be more severe. Breaking these habits is the toughest task ever, as children in their growth phase undergo many psychological changes, which makes them stubborn and reluctant to change. Therefore, before taking any measure to change these bad habits, one needs to understand the thinking pattern of kids. Let us study few of those patterns which make kids not stop bad habits.
Inborn rebelliousness Irrespective of the surroundings in which they are brought up, the general behavior of one kid differs from the other. Some kids are very calm and composed and maintain a complaisant behavior. Whereas, in total contrast to them will be few children who are very rebellious. Many a times rebellious nature in kids may be attributed to the kind of exposure they have, but sometimes this character may be by birth. Kids inheriting this nature will not listen to any other person. They are totally adamant on their point and are certainly the difficult ones to deal with.
Think that everybody is doing it – it’s not bad It is the general tendency of children in their early stages to imitate the repeated actions of their neighbors. As they are not developed mentally, they come to conclusion that whatever is done by majority is right. In the adolescent stages, children are very much influenced by their peers. They think it is right to go with the crowd and do what the crowd does. Children in those stages are characterized by lack of maturity and headstrong nature, disregarding advice given to them.
Inability to understand the complexity of risk involved Their minds still being in developing stages, kids are not competent enough to understand the severity of the risk associated with bad habits. When you try to explain them about it, most of the kids either avoid the discussion or start arguing. For example, the most common problem faced these days among children is drug abuse. Kids easily tend to get addicted to these drugs, not being actually aware of how destructive this habit can turn into. Lack of enough knowledge to differentiate the good from bad takes a toll on their life.
Try to justify unhealthy habits This is another major concern in the kids associated with bad habits. A kid on knowing the ill effects of his habits tries to justify the same, as he/she finds it highly impossible to get out of its clutches. This makes the task of breaking the habit a bit more difficult.
How to stop them Breaking of a bad habit of any individual of any age group is a difficult task, as generally they are the sources of comfort. It is always best to find out the root of the problem first and then start correcting right from there. In order to detect the bad habits like drug abuse, one can use drug testing kits available in the market.
The whole process of stopping the habits should be handled with great care and maturity. Children should be educated rightly about the misleading habits. Right understanding of the reasons for that particular behavior and communicating the same to the child will help in correcting his behavior. In addition, few steps which will help a kid stop his bad habits are discussed below:
• Start in steps: It is very difficult for a child to let go off a habit on a single stretch. This may in turn pressurize the child and make him/her depressed. Therefore, adapting a ‘single step at once’ approach will have slow yet rewarding benefits. In the case of drug abusing kids, step wise approach is the best suited one.
• Do not overreact: Overreacting to the smallest of bad habits, will make the child avoid you. This approach should not be adapted in dangerous bad habits like drug abuse too. This makes the kid guilty, irritated and he/she moves away from you. Instead a gentle and caring approach will work wonders.
• Recognition of good behavior: A positive attitude should be inculcated while dealing with kids. Their mind will be very subtle and soft and any kind of appreciation will give them enormous motivation. Hence, regularly recognize the good behavior and give positive reinforcement while trying to change the existing habit. It will enhance the chances to forsake the bad habit permanently.
It is a known fact that whatever falls on a kid's mind makes an impression. Taking their age and immaturity into consideration, one should be careful while exposing a kid to different environments. Shaping up the right mindset in the kids right from early stages will result in inculcation of positive habits.
By Nate Rodney
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