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Home / Parenting

Handling challenging behaviour in children

 Help your child learn how to get across their needs, fears and problems without getting angry or worked up (Shutterstock)

Whether you’re dealing with a two-year-old or a teenager, as they start to act independently, assert themselves and communicate what they like and don’t like, these strong feelings can cause some tension in the family.

But did you know that the environment you set for them actually increases or reduces bad behavior?

Yes!

According to research, that is.

If a child is growing up in a warm loving home where there is mutual respect, he or she will develop better social skills and excel in their lives.

A child growing up in a neglected stressful home develops triggers that will lead to defiance, aggression, tantrums and other bad fits that can pose harm to them and the family at large if not checked early on.

As much as children bring joy to their parents, the most difficult challenges experience with children are behavioral problems. From moody meltdowns to talking back or throwing a toy back at you out of anger, it can become frustrating.

Should you be going through this stage with your little one or teen, here are some tips on what you can do to manage without losing your mind.

i.Seek professional help

If you have done everything within your power and nothing seems to work, the next best thing would be to seek the services of a specialist.

Armed with expertise and experience, a specialist will be in a much better position to point out early warning signs, triggers and situations that maybe led your child to act in a particular way.

This places them at a much better position to talk to the child and help you find ways to groom your child towards positive behavior and what to do when they start acting up.

 Remember, just like adults, children get stressed, frustrated and anxious (Shutterstock)

ii.Change the environment

Identify triggers that make your child throw tantrums and help them calm down by taking them away from there.

For instance, if they get moody and jumpy when it is time to do their homework, get rid of distractions and allocate a special room or area in the house that is specifically for that purpose.

This change of environment helps them to calm down and focus. Provide a snack and take occasional breaks which will help them enjoy doing their homework without much resistance.

iii.Teach them how to communicate

Sometimes we blame our children when the ball lies solely on our court. Our children cannot effectively communicate unless we teach them how to.

Help them learn how to get across their needs, fears and problems without getting angry or worked up. Practice both verbal and visual ways of communication and play your ole by listening and helping them out.

iv.Provide an outlet

Just like adults, children get stressed, frustrated and anxious. For this reason, you need to create a safe space where they can let out their emotions.

It could be as simple as playing some music and dancing around the house, painting, singing, riding bikes or kicking a ball in the yard.

Once in a while also allow them to choose a game or activity and let them take the lead role. This will help them develop confidence, problem solving skills and social skills.

v.Applaud good behavior

If you’re not giving your children enough attention, they will seek for it negatively or positively. Avoid this and be intentional when it comes to spending undivided time with them and recognize good behavior.

When they act right, point it out and show your appreciation. This could be through a reward scheme to help cement good behavior in them.

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