Integrated Family Community Services 3370 South Irving Street, Englewood, CO 80110-1816 Ph: 303-789-0501

When Your Child’s Behavior Is Out of Control: 4 Steps to Help Them Socialize Better

If you have a son or daughter whose behavior is problematic, there are things that you can do as a parent to help your child adapt better to society. Learning proper behaviors and forms of expression will enable your child to communicate better with others and develop more positive relationships with his or her peers. Taking these four steps can help your child socialize better.

Encourage Eye Contact

Children who have behavioral problems that are linked to autism and similar conditions often have difficulty maintaining eye contact with others when speaking. This can create a disconnect and make it more difficult for your child to pay attention and understand the perspectives of others. By encouraging your son or daughter to make more eye contact when speaking or being spoken to by another person, communication barriers will be easier to overcome.

Explain the Importance of Personal Boundaries

Behavioral problems in children can often make understanding personal boundaries more difficult. It’s important to explain how certain behaviors can make some people uncomfortable. Examples of violating someone’s personal boundaries often include asking intrusive questions, negative comments about physical appearance, and telling jokes that are degrading toward a certain racial, religious or other social group. Your child should also learn the importance of personal space and how not to invade the space of other people.

Seek Professional Support

Certain professionals in the mental and behavioral health fields specialize in helping children who display behavioral and socialization challenges. Some professionals who offer behavioral health services can help by using applied behavioral analysis (ABA) and other techniques to keep children from acting out inappropriately anymore. If your child’s poor behavior is linked to a specific disorder, such as autism or ADHD, medications may be prescribed as part of a treatment plan.

Teach Basic Manners

Some children display poor behaviors because they haven’t been taught the importance of practicing good manners. Encouraging your child to say “please” and “thank you” at the appropriate times can go a long way in building stronger social bonds. It’s also best to teach your child how to wait in line patiently instead of cutting in front of someone else to get what they want. Sharing is another good skill to teach and can be used as a great way to socialize more.

Your child doesn’t have to continue exhibiting poor behavior. By getting to the root cause of the behavior and implementing the right treatment methods, your son or daughter can get on the road to developing better social skills and more positive relationships faster.

Tim Esterdahl

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