Strategies for managing your child’s challenging behaviour

challenging behaviour
  • Pre-empt (where possible) what might happen, are they hungry, tired unwell.
  •  Distraction such as shall we read a book, sing a song or say Pepper Pig is about to start.
  • Change the environment another room in the house, outside, garden or park.
  • Choose your battles  and do not respond to everything your child says. If they say I hate you, say well I love you, turn their statement into a positive, or just ignore their verbal rant and do not take it personally.

(Good preparation for all stages of childhood, especially the teenage years)

  • Plan ahead. for example ensure you leave enough time to get ready and leave the house
  • Stay calm and firm.  If your child is demanding another biscuit and you feel they have had enough, say ‘That’s enough’, stay firm and move and focus on something like. tidying the kitchen.
  • Breathe or count to 5 or 10, whatever number works for you.
  • Cuddle your child.
  • Use the 3 step method -Acknowledge you child’s feelings, I know that you are upset because you want a biscuit , Hold the boundary, butit is dinnertime. Offer  them a  something positive to focus on you can have a biscuit after dinner. This can prevent the tantrum escalating and give your child a chance to reset their emotions. Repeat slowly and stick to the three steps without lecturing.
  • Be mindful of  age related expectations and focus on the reality of the situation.
  • Be consistent and calm in your approach ,it is confusing for a child if sometimes you give them what they want and sometimes you don’t. The tantrums could get worse.
  • Take charge when you need to, if your child is having a tantrum because he wants something do not give it to him.  If the child doesn’t want to get out of the bath, it might be safer to take the plug out than trying to pull them out of the bath.
  • Talk quietly, lower your voice rather than trying to compete with your child’s loud voice.
  • Remember you are the calm in your child’s storm.