Activities for Children With Behavioral Problems

Five children (7-12) with fingers over eyes, portrait (lens flare)
Children are playing outside. (Image: Bec Parsons/DigitalVision/Getty Images)

According to Kids Health, behavior problems in children often stem from frustration or anger that children cannot resolve on their own. Behavior problems can be solved with patience and understanding as it takes time for children to learn how to deal with situations that lead to bad behavior. There are many activities that parents and caregivers can use to motivate children to think about their bad behavior and choose alternate ways of dealing with situations that cause such behavior.

Provide Choices

Often behavior problems are the result of a perceived lack of control that children have in making their own choices, reports Baby Center. Creating a variety of opportunities for children to make choices can empower them and reduce instances of bad behavior. Baby Center recommends that parents allow children to choose their own clothes as long as they meet specific guidelines or to allow a child to choose what type of vegetable he would like to eat with his dinner. Allowing children to choose their own school supplies, such as folders, can also provide a sense of control. Another important way to empower children and give them some control is to avoid telling them what they cannot do, says Baby Center. Instead, parents are encouraged to phrase their instructions by telling children what they can do.

Physical Movement

Venting anger is an important way to help children learn more appropriate ways to cope instead of acting out reports Kids Health. Providing children with safe ways to get their anger out is an effective activity for children with behavior problems. Jumping jacks, dancing, or going outside to do cartwheels are all physical activities that can help deter bad behavior. Kids Health suggests structured time to be active as a way of helping children with ongoing bad behavior. Karate, wrestling and running are good activities to burn off energy and stress that may otherwise lead to bad behavior, says Kids Health.

Rewards

Rewards work by motivating children to choose good behavior over bad behavior and by creating boundaries that children need, reports Healthy Children. Rewards can be tailored to what is important to the child. For example, Healthy Children recommends adding a few extra minutes of television time. Hugs, praise, positive words, and smiles are also recommended as ways to reward children for good behavior and as a way to motivate children to eliminate bad behavior. Quality time also works well for children so they can have some one-on-one time to spend with one or both parents.

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