October 2, 2014

Child Behavior Problems

Being a parent of five children, I’m constantly struggling with child behavior problems, and how to deal with them. It just goes with the territory. But last week, it came to a head, and I came to a few realizations that I don’t think I had before. Here’s what happened:

My oldest son has a new “friend” that’s a girl (we don’t want them to be boyfriend and girlfriend yet, but it looks like they’re moving down that road pretty fast. More on our feelings about that in another post). Anyway, Sarah came over after school to watch a movie with Bobby. That’s it – pretty benign, right? Well, not as far as my kid’s are concerned!

You’d think the sky was falling, or we were going to Disneyland or something. They all just became out-of-control kids: loud, no manners, saying inappropriate things, and on and on. This type of child behavior problems went on all night – long after Sarah had gone home for the evening. It was crazy! I was totally embarrassed, enough so that I canceled a fun family weekend we had planned.

What I came to realize is that my kids need to have a pretty structured schedule. They feel very out-of-control when anything is out of the ordinary at all. I believe this goes back to the very first months of their lives, when they weren’t cared for in a healthy way. So we are trying to keep it orderly and under control – therefore avoiding this type of children behavior issues.

I just happened to be browsing the Empowering Parents website, and I found an article by James Lehman called Are You Embarrassed By Your Child’s Behavior? 5 Ways To Cope that helped me out concerning my embarrassment.  It gave me a few tips, and I’ll share a little bit from the article.

  1. Don’t guess what people around you are thinking. Unless they say flat out “You’re a horrible parent”, you don’t really know what they’re thinking. They could be thinking “I remember when my kid did that”, or “I’m glad I’m not going through that phase with my son anymore”. Don’t be a mind reader.
  2. Focus on the behavior at hand: It’s not about you, it’s about the child. When your child misbehaves in public, they need something from you – focus on their needs, not your feelings.
  3. Use “avoid” and “escape” as short-term strategies. If you know the type of situations that cause your kids behavior problems, try to avoid those situations. Also, give you and your child an “escape” plan – a way to get out of the situation if things start to break down.

These are just a few strategies I learned from this article. To read the whole article, click here.

For many more tips and techniques to deal with child behavior problem’s, check out The Total Transformation. It’s one of the best child behavior programs I’ve ever seen – it worked for our family, I’m sure it can work for yours!

About the author: By

Matt is the parent (along with his wife Julie) to five wonderful kids. He has been self-employed for 25+ years and is the owner of the Positive Parenting Skills website.

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Comments

  1. Adriana says:

    Let me understand this, your children mishave, after Sarah gone home. I think, the problem is that they are not prepare for interruptions. They do not need a structure schedule. What they need is tolerance and patience. Things are not going to come out always in the way they are expected.

    • @Adriana: I agree with what you are saying – the ultimate goal is to prepare them for interruptions. The starting point is giving them a safe environment which consists partly of a structured schedule. As they start to go off “red alert” and feel safe that we as parents can take care of them, they will trust us that the disruptions are safe and will not be afraid, as you slowly introduce them (as much as we can plan disruptions) and talk through the feelings that came up afterwards.

  2. I totally agree with this blog. I think kids are growing to be very rebellious against theire elders. I honestly wish pop culture would stop exposing violence to children with innocent brilliant minds. For now on, I will snope through my childrens bedroom and find anything that could expose them to anything innapropriate. I want a strong christian belief household.

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