How To Deal With Your Teen's Challenging Behaviour
Unfortunately, one of the biggest problems parents face is challenging behaviour exhibited by their young children or teenagers too. It is a difficult time, but the way parents act on it does affect the way it may pan out.
In short, you need to keep in control of the problem and work with your child to move forward proactively.
Here are some things to know and ways to help you and your child:
Start with consistency - When your child acts up you need to be consistent and don’t let them get away with bad behaviour at any time. This can be hard as we often let children away with things at certain times as we are busy. However, your son or daughter will not learn how to manage their misbehaviour if they find they can get away with it. In fact, they will actively act up at that time as they will know they will get their own way, eventually.
Be calm - This is difficult in the face of challenging behaviour, but parents need to remain calm when their child starts to be difficult. The worst thing you can do is become angry, frazzled and argumentative yourself. At the end of the day children do not have the maturity to see things the way parents do, nor do they understand why their behaviour is wrong. They are acting impulsively, and it takes time to teach them how to behave better. Berating them isn’t going to help so stay calm and encourage your child to “use their words” to let you know what the problem is.
Consider reward systems - Reward systems can work well as they encourage children to behave and see the benefits for it. Besides who doesn’t love reward charts and stickers?! Once your child gets used to a reward chart system, they will usually behave a whole lot better, but it takes time for them to adapt so take time to realise the full reward chart system.
Offer choices and avoid triggers - Most of the arguments in the house start from your child wanting something they can’t have. So, how about offering a choice to them? Instead of giving them milk with a sandwich, ask them what they would like? Of course, your child may say “chocolate and juice” but you can reach a common ground on it. It isn’t always easy to avoid triggers but if you can, you should avoid things that trigger bad behaviour. It could be something simple like changing your usual routine - if your child acts up because you go shopping before their nap. Avoid areas that they scream to get what they want and keep working on it.
Pay attention to your child -Often, children act up as they want your full attention so they will scream and shout if they see you scrolling through your phone. They want to have your attention so when sitting down, spend time with your kiddie together. If you collect your child from school, take that time to find out how their day was. When your child is behaving, thank them for it and be supportive about their efforts.
Emma Hayes is a thirty-something mum of two girls aged 16 and 10, planting her right into the teenage and tween-age years! Follow her on Twitter at @EmmaHayes25.