Being a parent isn’t easy. It can truly be a hard and confusing job sometimes. This is especially the case when a child has behavioral problems. The correct way to proceed and deal with the negative behaviors in question may not be clear to many parents. To help, below are some strategies you can use to help children that are struggling with behavioral issues.
Troubled Parents: How to Help Your Children Struggling with Behavioral Issues
1. Learn Whether or Not Your Child Has a Behavioral Disorder
While it is true that many bad behaviors have non-medical explanations, certain children who have serious behavioral issues may suffer from disorders caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. According to a Sioux Falls child counselors at Encompass Mental Health, one of the most common behavioral disorders in children is ADHD. This is an acronym that stands for attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. ADHD can severely affect a child’s ability to pay attention and may also express itself in impulsive and hyperactive behavior at inappropriate moments.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement for Good Behavior
Far too often, parents only implement negative reinforcement. Bad behaviors result in punishment. However, good behaviors don’t result in any kind of reward. This may not be conducive to changing a child’s pattern of acting out inappropriately. Instead, try to use some positive reinforcement when a child behaves correctly. Even simple compliments and kind words may be enough to help encourage positive behaviors.
3. Work on Correcting One Behavior at a Time
Fixing all of a problem child’s behavioral issues is not going to happen overnight. Instead, you should focus on correcting one bad behavior at a time. Children need some level of guidance and structure. If you overload them by correcting them on too many things at once, they may continue to lash out at you. Instead, try to fix each bad behavior at a time and reward that child for stopping those bad behaviors.
4. Address Underlying Issues
While it could indeed be an issue with brain chemicals, sometimes there are environmental issues that express themselves in a child via bad behaviors. If a child is being abused, for example, that child may be suffering from inner-turmoil and not be acting appropriately as a result. A child may also be overwhelmed by too many responsibilities. Kids should be allowed to be kids and be given time to play. If your child is involved in too many after school activities, you may consider lessening his or her schedule a bit.
Bad behavior from children can be frustrating or even scary for parents. However, if you take the time to learn why your child is acting that way and make an attempt to actively parent that child, you have a good chance of correcting that child’s poor behavior.