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Unwanted Behavior in a Child

Updated on July 25, 2011

       When you were little, I am sure, you were also really cute and had habits worthy of recording or taking a picture of. This 3-year old loves to put hair up her nostrils, especially right before going to bed. What prompts her to do this, we do not know. She likes the feeling of the hair inside her nostrils. It all started with her mother giving her blankets that had fringe and she would put it up her nose then her hair got long enough and she started substituting the hair.

Unfortunately, what is cute about a 3-year old sticking her hair up her nose can be disgusting to others. Mainly because the nose is considered one of the most bacteria harboring places of the body. Habits such as these need to be dealt with by parents before sending the child to school or a daycare. You might ask why and you might say this is something that will pass. It will pass, but it might take some time depending on how long the child has had this habit.          

      These habits are considered a distraction by caretakers. They will tend to put the child in time out if the child is disobedient and continues to do this sort of thing. The behavior is dealt with in the best way caretakers know how. The simple act of putting the child in timeout explaining to the child that this sort of thing is bad allows for a child to eventually make the connection between, for example, "hair up the nose" will get the child put in "timeout." Other ways caretakers deal with this behavior is that they will tend to totally ignore it while kids will make fun of the child. Not a good idea. Lastly, caretakers will distract the child removing the hair from the nose and giving the child something else to distract him/her.

Children's Inappropriate Behavior

Kids at that age do not know any better. It's more about the sensation of the hair in the nostrils that keeps them repeating this behavior. Many times it helps them go to sleep. In some cases I have known of children taking a strand of hair and they curl it around their finger and finally go to sleep that way. They are basically helping themselves to fall asleep.

Depending on the habits, they can either be distracting or go unnoticed and to correct children's inappropriate behavior, one must remain constant at letting them know that the behavior is not being tolerated and indicate to them why. It really depends on the caretakers and to play it safe, parents need to start helping their little ones to break habits that can cause the child problems at school whether it is with the caretakers or other children who might make fun of them. It is always a good idea to observe your child on some of the days you are able to visit him/her at school. You can also ask to volunteer for a couple of days and observe your child all day. Check out your child's behavior and address it at home in a non-threatening environment and in a non-threatening manner.

Children understand when you tell them that the behavior is inappropriate and why. You might also want to use dolls or puppets to help them see the targeted behaviors. You may choose to do a short skit imitating the behaviors you do not want repeated; correcting the behavior in the skit so that the children can make the connection. In this particular case, the parents may opt to cut the child's hair if the behavior persists.  This will help her outgrow the habit but first and foremost, first try talking to the child and making her understand that it is unwanted behavior and do not allow the behavior to continue. Children's inappropriate behaviors can be corrected in a positive manner.

Who do you prefer corrects your child?


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    • primardie profile image

      primardie 4 years ago from Texas

      Excellent way of dealing with unwanted behavior. Than you David.

    • primardie profile image

      primardie 4 years ago from Texas

      That is an excellent idea. I like that. :)

    • Davidrighthand profile image

      David Harden 5 years ago from USA

      I demonstraighted to my children what the out come would look like over and over again :}

    • Kathryn L Hill profile image

      Kathryn L Hill 5 years ago from LA

      I actually drew pictures to show my son the proper behavior! :)

    • primardie profile image

      primardie 6 years ago from Texas

      Totally agree. Thank you for the comment L A Dreamin.

    • L A Dreamin profile image

      L A Dreamin 6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      I think parents should be the ones to "correct" their kids, but I think when there is a situation like this the parents could notify the caretakers and teachers and advise them on the behaviors they are trying to change and what ways are acceptable to them.