Raising a Child with Behavior Issues

child having tantrumRaising a child with behavior issues can be challenging. There can be tantrums, disrespect toward parents and teachers, disregard for rules and refusal to do what is asked.

Parents can become frustrated and unsure of what to do to help their child behave more appropriately.

Education is the key.

“It is important for parents to learn a structured approach for handling behavior challenges so that home-life is less chaotic and their children are more successful on a daily basis,” said Autumn Dunham Neubert, a licensed clinical social worker at The Children’s Center, a program of Mental Health Centers of Central Illinois. “It is important for parents to feel empowered that they are handling difficult situations in an appropriate manner. Having the knowledge to work with problematic behaviors is important for any parent.”

Do Not Ignore Challenging Behaviors

A child’s challenging behavior will not fix itself. Parents should not ignore a child’s whining, crying or physical violence toward others. There are many different approaches parents can take to deal with a child’s challenging behaviors. Sometimes parents have to try different methods before finding what works best for their situation.

Dunham Neubert offers these five tips for dealing with behaviorally challenging kids:

  1. Stay calm – Don’t show your own frustration.
  2. Be consistent with your expectations of your child.
  3. Set them up for success, even if that means small victories.
  4. Seek help if your child isn’t responding to your interventions to their negative behavior. 
  5. Encourage and use positive messages when they are behaving appropriately!

When to Seek Professional Help

Parents should become concerned and seek professional help when their child’s behavior begins to interfere with school performance, relationships with peers or impact other family members in a negative manner.

“If the behavior is severe enough to be disruptive on a daily basis to either the child or the rest of the family, then the behavior warrants some extra attention from parents,” Dunham Neubert said.

Dr. Ross Greene, author of the highly acclaimed books “The Explosive Child” and “Lost at School,” will be in Springfield on Oct. 16 to talk about a compassionate, collaborative and effective approach to understand and help behaviorally challenging kids.

“Anytime a parent can gain access to evidence-based interventions for their children’s stressful behaviors it is beneficial to the entire family and future of their child,” Dunham Neubert said.

To learn more about helping kids with social, emotional and behavioral challenges, register online for Dr. Greene’s presentation on Oct. 16 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. This free event will be held at Erin’s Pavilion located at Southwind Park. A light dinner will be provided.