If your child’s behaviour is challenging, there are some things you can do. It can help to understand what might be causing the behaviour in the first place.
Remember to be kind to yourself – it may take some time to start seeing a difference.
Children love attention and work hard to get it, even if that means behaving poorly. Bad behaviour may indicate that your child is hungry, tired, nervous or in a bad mood. They may be responding to some change in their lives.
Your child’s behaviour may change if they are struggling to process emotions. Acknowledge it’s OK for your child to have these feelings. Try helping them identify their feelings by name. This can help them express what they’re going through. This means they’ll be less likely to use behaviour to show how they feel.
You can also help them develop ways to respond to these different emotions. We have some advice on supporting them understand and express emotions.
Be a role model. Children learn by copying, so show them the type of behaviour you want to see.
Try to be consistent in your approach. Be fair, firm and kind.
Show your child plenty of affection. Let them know they mean the world to you.
Try to avoid being harsh or critical, shouting, threatening, or humiliating your child. This is ‘negative discipline’ and can hurt your child’s emotional wellbeing. Bribing and giving in to your child are also types of negative discipline.
Challenging behaviour can take lots of different forms. We also have advice on:
Want more support? For advice on your specific issue, speak to one of our parenting coaches.
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