How to Break Bad Habits in Children? 5 Easy Ways to Apply.

Break Bad Habits in Children

Break Bad Habits in Children

Do you want to Break Bad Habits in Children and add Good Habits in them? It’s not so easy or smooth to break the bad habits but not the impossible one. Through our mindset, consistency and active participation, we can surely help our children to break bad habits and adopt a set of good habits. Generally, the children learn the habits, both good or bad from their surroundings, from their parents, siblings or other family members. Lots of habits are also learnt from the peer groups or friends. To break bad habits support from family and friends are highly needed.

Ways to Break Bad Habits in Children

There are several ways to minimize or eliminate the occurrence of bad habits among children but we need a lot of patience, understanding and a fixed mindset to bring changes. Especially the bad habits like biting nails, pulling hair, screaming without reason, wasting food in each meal, hitting other people or spiting on people etc. are really challenging and need a great time period to bring changes. Some useful but easy ways are stated below.

Lead by Example

If we really want to break some bad habits in our children, we first need to break such habits in us because our children learn a lot simply by modeling behaviors- by seeing and following the habits of elders. For example, if we want that our children will not see or use the mobile phones while taking food, we should first make our mindset for not using mobile phones at our dinner table or in breakfast time. The important calls also should not be received or do while taking food. Because our children model or mimic our behaviors a lot, leading by example is quite effective in breaking bad habits.

Read More-Top 5 Mental Health Issues of Adolescents: Genuine Reasons and Prevention (

Reward System

Reward system as the way of Positive Reinforcement is the most effective method to break bad habits in children, we may give rewards to our children as Praise, Words of Affection, more ‘Play Time’ etc. whenever they don’t follow the bad habits. For example, if my child is not using mobile phones while taking food, I will surely praise him for his attempt for breaking the cycle of his bad habit and this will surely make him to make his mindset for not using mobile phones during dinner or lunch. Acknowledge and reward our children when they exhibit the desired behavior can motivate them to continue their efforts to break bad habits in children.

Set Clear Expectations

To break bad habits in children, it’s very important to set concrete and clear expectations for them so that they can put them easily in the path to break the loops of bad habits. It’s not easy for children to understand the hidden or confused expectations of parents or others, clear perspectives help them to set their own goals and to be successful. For example, if we explain the harmful effects of a bad habit in a language appropriate to their age, they will surely try to break this habit.

Read More-What is Relationship Fatigue/ 5 Effective ways to overcome it. (

Reading books can develop good habits in children and break bad habits

Identify the Triggers

In most of the time our children learn many bad habits due to some odd circumstances like stressful situations, parental conflicts, neglect, loneliness etc. So, to break bad habits in children, it is a need to identify those trigger points and take effort to minimize those triggers. For example, la little girl Jimi bites her nails whenever she is in some stressful situation. The Little boy Tintu plays mobile games a lot because his parents can’t spend time with him due to some workloads, so he spends his time in playing games. Thus, we can say that some triggers are responsible for cultivating bad habits in children.

Read More-How to Stop Nail Biting? Causes & 5 Quick Tips to Stop it. (

Introduce the Good Alternative

To Break Bad Habits in Children, it is essential to replace those bad habits with good habits- here the child will easily break the loops of bad habit cycle. For example, to reduce the addiction of mobile games of the little boy Tinto, the parents can spend quality time with him. They can play with him, can read story books together etc. The bad habit of biting nails can be replaced by relaxation techniques like Deep Breathing or Drawing some objects so that the child can cope up with the stress which is the main trigger of nail biting.

Positive Reinforcement in association with introduction of good alternatives is surely effective one to break bad habits in children.

Words from

It’s not easy to break the bad habits in children, we need to be consistent here to apply the ways to break the bad habit loops. Breaking a habit takes time, so be patient with your child’s progress. Consistently reinforce the desired behavior and provide the good alternatives to ensure the change in the habits of your children.


1.The Habit Scorecard: A Simple Tool for Building Better Habits (

2.How to Break a Habit: 15 Tips for Success (

3.5 Ways to Overcome a Bad Habit | Psychology Today

4.How to break a bad habit – Harvard Health

5.How to Break a Bad Habit and Interrupt the Cycle (

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