What causes your child to behave the way they do? What are they feeling, what are they trying to achieve by their behaviour, and what can you do about it? How best to help your child? There are several things that can affect your child's behaviour, and many of these can appear, disappear, recur and overlap at different times during your child's childhood and adolescence:
Personality and temperament
Self esteem and well-being
Stress and anxiety
Adjusting to changes and transitions
Difficult family circumstances
Parenting styles and home environment
Generally, challenging behaviour is either a symptom of a particular developmental stage (such as the "terrible twos"), or it is a cry for help, or call for attention. Something is wrong, and the child is showing you this. In certain cases, it may be a sign of needs that are not being met. In other cases, it may simply be that you and your child have become trapped in a negative cycle of argument, punishment, and tears, and something needs to change in order for the cycle to be broken.
I believe that both innate factors (such as developmental stage) and environmental factors (such as parenting styles) influence a child’s behaviour. If you have more than one child, your children are likely to be very different. Do not expect them to have the same behaviour, or the same set of needs. They may need very different kinds of support from you.
Together we will find out what is the root cause of your child's behaviour, and work together towards a better outcome. I believe that most childhood behavioural issues can be helped with gentle changes to one or more of the following:
Other important factors we need to consider when talking about challenging behaviour in children are:
Can your child talk about or describe how they are feeling?
Can they bounce back easily from failure or disappointment?
Do they lack self-control, and the ability to regulate their own behaviour?
Does your child exhibit frustration or aggression?
Poor behaviour can be a telltale sign of poor mental health.
Is your home environment the cause of your child's challenging behaviour?
Other topics that may come up are SEN, ADHD, OD, and CD (we will unravel these acronyms later!).
If you are feeling concerned or anxious about any of these issues, or feel that a particular area could do with some attention, get in touch and we will work on it together. Childhood is a time of growth, learning, development and change, and nothing is set in stone. Parenting is very much the same! Let's take the next step together.