We don't mean to scare you — really, we don't — but the first time your child enters the crowded classrooms of similarly aged children, well? first they'll freak out, but then they'll calm down and make friends. Unfortunately, this experience will occasionally expose your son or daughter to a multitude of bad habits you've managed to shelter them from through their first few years of life.
It's inevitable — young children are impressionable, and other kids can easily influence them, sometimes for the worst. Of course, they don't know any better, and the only way your child can learn that such habits are wrong is to test the waters and learn the pond is not worth the swim.
It's ironic, really. A place built to educate your son or daughter can end up giving your child bad habits that, if not broken, could make them seem uneducated.
Here are six common bad habits your little one might pick up at school, and how you can put an end to such annoying, infantile behavior.
Cursing1 of 7
Nothing is worse than a potty-mouthed child. They come home from school and, suddenly, they're speaking like they've seen too many episodes of Breaking Bad. "What the #%&$?" You might ask yourself. "I never taught them that language, and they've never seen an episode of Breaking Bad in their life." True, but that doesn't mean other children haven't. But fear not, there's a simple solution.
The first time you hear your child throw out an F-bomb, simply ignore it. They are less likely to use it in the future if you don't find it amusing. If it happens again, stay calm, and tell him or her that that is not a nice word and such language is not permitted in your household or anywhere else.
Talking Back/Smart-Alleck Comments2 of 7
At the tender age of 5 and your child is already speaking to you in a condescending tone, rolling his or her eyes and responding to requests with sass. This sort of behavior can trigger blood-red-predator vision in parents, but, as always, the way you react to such annoyances is important for your relationship with your child and their future behavior.
Try to keep from raising your voice or making threats. Take some deep breaths and continue the conversation in a civil manner. Ask your child if everything is OK. Or, if they're having trouble at school, you might get at the root cause of why he or she decided to act this way. Also, if this is behavior your child picked up from school, be calm and explicit in explaining that this behavior is not acceptable.
Lying3 of 7
Kids choose to lie for a number of reasons. Whether they find that it gives them attention from their classmates or gets them out of trouble on an occasion or two, it's a habit that a parent must nip in the bud. Some of these lies can be so outrageous and fantastic that one must assume he or she picked this up from a friend at school. If you catch your child in the act, explain to them the importance of telling the truth and how lying only makes matters worse. If they had simply told the truth, they wouldn't even be in trouble. It's also important to show the consequences of lying. One way to accomplish this is by taking away electronics or assigning extra chores.
Saying Things Like "What the Effffffff" and "Freakin'"4 of 7
Sure, it's the PG version of the F-bomb, but don't think your child doesn't know what comes after that string of F's. The problem with this habit is, in most cases, there are very few consequences. After all, it's not like they uttered a four-letter word, so such bad habits get swept under the rug. However, such remarks become tiresome and show a lack of education and discipline.
To break this habit, simply telling your child that it's wrong can have a major impact. Like we said before, he or she doesn't realize these sounds and utterances are wrong because it's not a "bad word." And, again, explain this in a calm and explicit tone.
Dramatic Sighs5 of 7
You tell your son or daughter what you're having for dinner and, even though it's a meal you've slaved over in the kitchen for hours, he or she lets out an exaggerated sigh. And you notice they do this in response to anything they might be slightly obstinate toward. It's just a phase, sure. You know, similar to a 3-year-old's "no phase." But the quicker you break your child of the dramatic-sigh habit, the better.
Once the tension has blown over, it's best to approach your child and explain to them that dramatic sighs, pouts or complaining in such an immature way is never going to get them what they want. This should help put an end to this phase.
Disgusting Table Habits (shooting milk from nose, fake farting, fake vomiting)6 of 7
Yeah, this one's particularly gross. Your parents are in town; you've taken them to a nice restaurant and from the booster seat comes fake flatulence, vomiting and high-pitched laughter. It's stomach churning, appetite-ending and embarrassing.
This type of behavior is hilarious to them and their friends and, unfortunately, you aren't going to stop such age-appropriate behavior. The best thing to do is to tell your child that there's a time and place for everything, and the dinner table is not the place for such antics. However, if they enjoy doing it on the playground with their friends, then so be it.