Children can grow up to be very different individuals. Some can be obedient, some naughty, some shy, some rebellious, and many more. It's normal for children to exhibit both positive and negative social behaviors in their development stages. But at times some negative behavior can seem to be extreme and indicate certain signs of antisocial behaviors. In such circumstances, timely detection and proper intervention can help children in managing their behavioral issues.
Also read: Why You Should Discipline Your Child
Antisocial behaviors are simply the ones that repeatedly violate the expected rules of the social world. They include disruptive acts characterized by intentional aggression towards others, hostility towards authority, deceitfulness, etc.
These behaviors usually show up in early childhood or during adolescence and can cause severe problems in the future if left unattended.
Keeping an eye for antisocial behavior in your children is extremely important. Luckily these can be easily identified. The symptoms your child might exhibit includes:
With early interventions, the symptoms of antisocial behavior can be fixed or in the least reduced. Here are a few tips to help you out:
1. Develop clear expectations and consequences
It is vital to develop apparent expectations and consequences of particular actions which in turn will help to focus on prosocial behavior reinforcement.
Reward your child with chocolate or extra playtime with friends when they are doing something right. Similarly, develop a set of consequences they will have to face like cutting down on playtime or skipping ice cream if they did something antisocial.
Studies on children's behavior have figured out that warmth and affection, a reasonable amount of discipline, and an authoritative parenting style in moderation can have positive outcomes on children with antisocial behaviors.
2. Make them learn how to take control of their emotions
The lower level of empathy is generally associated with a higher antisocial behavior score. Make them learn how to empathize with others, how to be kind. Any emotions beyond the limit can be harmful to them and others.
Make them understand that emotions like anger need to be in control, give them plans to handle problematic situations like if they are feeling angry tell them to say " I'm feeling angry. Can we deal with this later?"
3. Use the non-violent mode of communications
Detecting these antisocial behaviors initially can make you lose your composure, you may want to punish them. But you need to remember that a non-violent mode of communication is an important tool to handle these situations and foster trust. For instance, if your child is showing aggression try to remain sane since screaming or hitting will only aggravate the matter. It will help reframe the negative perception more towards the positive one. Compassion and emotional support work the best to build a bond with your kid where they can have open communication about what they feel which will not be possible in case you hit them.
4. Spend quality time with them
If parents are not offering one-on-one attention to their children, it can make them feel alienated which in turn will make them imbibe these traits into their behavior. Eating dinner, going for a walk, or playing together can give you the chance to check in with your kid and provide them with the attention they might crave for. Adequate attention from parents makes children feel secure and hence reduces the chances of displaying signs of antisocial behavior.
5. Seek therapy for your child
Children's minds are vulnerable at a young age and that is why you may find it difficult to deal with them. In this case, enrolling your kid in a therapy session can help. Therapies can provide a more nuanced view of the signs and the triggers for the behavior which can be addressed with an individualistic approach. It also makes them understand the social norms.
A watchful eye and understanding atmosphere maintained from your side will give a secure environment to your children to grow through these situations and bring out the best version of themselves.