There are lots of possible reasons for difficult behaviour in children. These could be because your child is tired, hungry, overexcited or bored
Things that can affect your child’s behaviour:
- Life Changes: This could be the birth of a new child, a house move or a change in nursery or school, any change in a child’s life can be difficult for them
- You’re having a difficult time: If you are having a bad day children can notice this quickly, if you are having problems don’t blame yourself however don’t blame your child also if they react with difficult behaviour
- Past experiences: your child may react with difficult behaviour because of how it was dealt with in the past, such as giving your child a toy or sweet to keep them quiet, your child will think in order for them to receive a toy they can react with difficult behaviour
- Needing attention: Sometimes your child just wants attention, and negative attention is still attention, so try giving them more attention to the positive behaviour rather than the negative behaviour
If your child’s behaviour is causing you or your child distress, or upsetting the rest of the family then it is important you deal with it
- Don’t give up: Once you have decided to do something you must follow it through, giving your child mixed signals can confuse them
- Be consistent: Children need consistency. If you react to your child’s behaviour in one way one day and a different way the next, it’s confusing for them.
- Try not to overreact: This can be difficult, and it can be impossible not to show your frustration at times, however move onto a task that you both enjoy to help defuse the situation
- Talk to your child: Children do not have to be able to talk to understand. It can help if they understand why you want them to do something.
Once your child can talk, encourage them to explain why they’re angry or upset. This will help them feel less frustrated.
- Be positive: When a child’s behaviour is difficult, the things they do well can be overlooked. Talk to your child about something they have done good
- Offer rewards: You can help by giving your child a rewards for positive behaviour, and explain to them why they have received the rewards, such as putting their toys away. The reward does not have to be something bought or expensive, it can be letting your child choose tea or a film and having a family movie night.
- Avoid smacking: Children learn by example so, if you hit your child, you’re telling them that hitting is OK. Children who are treated aggressively by their parents are more likely to be aggressive themselves. It’s better to set a good example instead.
Do not feel you have to cope alone. If you’re struggling with your child’s behaviour please seek support from your health visitor or school nurse, or visit the Family Lives website for parenting advice and support, or phone their free parents’ helpline on 0808 800 2222
Additionally see the link below for NSPCC Positive parenting guide.
For further information, visit:
For information on your child’s mental wellbeing, visit Kooth.