Problem Kid

Does your kid refuse to follow directions?
Does it seem like your kid enjoys arguing with you?
Does your kid seem to find joy in disobeying you?
Does your kid exhibit violence towards you and/or others?
Does your kid have intense temper tantrums often?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, here are some tips that may help you move your child from negative to more positive behaviors.
 You must first make sure that your home is as peaceful as possible. There must be no violence, no screaming, or yelling. Creating a calm home-life for your child will provide a good foundation and be a catalyst to help your child choose more positive behaviors.

 You must always show positivity, kindness, and love towards everyone in the household, especially towards this child. By doing so, you will be modeling the proper behavior that you want your child to display.

 Give your child positive attention and spend quality time with them. Show interest in your child’s life by talking to your child about what they want to talk about. You should also play with your child. You can play a game that your child enjoys. Depending on the age, you should draw/color with your child, play with their toys with them, or play make believe with your child. Positive attention will satisfy your child’s desire for your attention so that they will not resort to negative behavior to get your attention.

 Set clear and realistic expectations for the behavior that you want to see in your child. You should talk to the child about their behavior and explain to your child the behavioral expectations that you have for them. At the beginning of the behavior change process, it is important to reward the behavior that you do want. An incentive can help motivate this child to choose good behavior. A small commensurate incentive is suggested (you can slowly remove the incentive or give an intermittent incentive).

 Tell the child which behaviors are unacceptable and will not be tolerated. You must also explain consequences for misbehavior and be consistent with discipline. Discipline must be proportionate to the behavior and to the age of the child. Please note, discipline is different from punishment. Discipline has two goals:
1. Discourage the behavior that you don’t want
2. Teach your child the behavior that you do want

 Make sure that all significant adults in your child’s life (primary caregivers and the adults that your child spends a significant amount of time with) are on board with the new plan of action.

 Don’t allow your child’s negative behavior to determine what the adults do. You must be consistent with your interventions, disciplines and behaviors. As you become more consistent, your child will too!
Remember…Rules are necessary and helps children:
 *Develop self-control
 *Learn to be considerate of others
 *Learn to be respectful and express feelings
 *Learn to take responsibility
By: Amber C. Gardner, MA, LPC, NCC

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