Parents go to great lengths to do things that would make the lives of their children better. They expend great energy and resource to ensure that their child has comfort and hygiene and abundance in general. Somehow, one would notice, children of our present generation who are growing up with resources and amenities are lagging in social and behavioural development. A large part of the cause is due to the fact that we are surrounded by more gadgets and devices than human beings, and as a result we are gradually losing our social skills. The slow demise of the joint family has played its part, and the fast pace of urban living must also take its share of the blame. It is unfair of us to expect composed and compassionate behaviour from children who have not received it themselves.

Children of the present times are deprived of the opportunity to develop as charming adults as they lose out on a very essential learning of how their actions affect people around them. The most common signal for under developed social skills in children is when they have a bad temper. To help your child if he has a bad temper, first you must recognize the signs and accept the situation.

How many of these sound familiar in the case of your child?

  • when in a queue, the child has difficulty waiting for his turn
  • pushes others to have is way
  • has on occasion even been hitting, kicking, and biting etc
  • cannot calm down when excited or angry
  • gets very unmanageable when he cannot have his way
  • is quick to raise his voice and even interrupts to make himself heard

Bad temper is a ‘learned behaviour’, and hopefully can be unlearned if parents pay heed and take special care. It is going to be a long journey, but an attainable destination. Yet, to start off, it is recommended that you do a quick check on the antecedents of the behaviour. Given that the external environment influences and contributes to the formation of behaviour, since we cannot do anything about it, it is far wiser to focus on what you might be doing that needs to be set right.

Here are some questions for you as a parent:

  • Are you disciplining the child too much such that the only way he can express himself is by throwing a tantrum?
  • Does the child receive harsh treatment from you?
  • Do you or your spouse narrate stories of how you ‘blasted’ someone?
  • Do you exhibit road rage even in minor degrees?
  • Are you rude to people who serve you?
  • Do you use inappropriate language, even occasionally?
  • Do you break rules?
  • Are you sarcastic in your language?

Now that you have examined yourself, you are more aware about what is causing the behaviour. Also, you are in a better position to help your child.

Here is what you can do further to help your child:

    1. Begin by showing respect and courtesy to your child.
    2. Observe what triggers the meltdowns and begin by eliminating or at least controlling that.
    3. Build compassion in him by talking to your child and explain how it is hurting people around him.
    4. Reward good behaviour, but in subtle and non-materialistic ways like a little extra time for play.
    5. Partner with your child’s teacher if required to reinforce the learning you are striving to bring about.
    6. Lead your child on the path of courtesy, self-restrain and elegance, and begin by following the rules yourself!


You may find helpful:

5 Ways to deal with children using abusive language
6 Common mistakes parents make when confronting the child
Positive Parenting
Cultivating Your Child’s Individuality
Steps for teaching children values
Walking The Talk With Your Children
Boosting Your Child’s Emotional Intelligence
How to Teach Kids to Identify Their Emotions
Helping Your Children Control Their Emotions
Photo Courtesy – Masterfile