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How to Deal With Children Who Have Behavior Problems

by Tiffany Raiford

As children develop, they occasionally experience problems that they exhibit through their behavior. Most behavioral problems in children are perfectly normal in different stages of development, but that doesn’t make dealing with these children any easier. Many behavior issues are short-lived, though dealing with them is necessary to ensure that children learn the appropriate way to handle the frustration and stress that are likely causing their poor behavior. As a parent, it becomes your job to handle behavior problems in a manner that educates your child on the proper way to express his feelings and shows him that his behavior is unacceptable.

Recognize the limitations of your child and come up with a list of rules and expectations that prevent you and your child from becoming frustrated. For example, if your child isn’t as good at math as he is at other subjects, yet you require all homework to be finished prior to dinnertime, you will both become frustrated and his behavior will get worse. By knowing that he struggles with math and simply cannot complete his assignments before dinner, you can allot him extra time and assistance after dinner, which prevents him from becoming frustrated and behaving badly, and it prevents you from becoming frustrated with him for not meeting your expectations.

Learn to see the warning signs that your child is about to exhibit his behavior issues. If his behavior takes a downhill turn when he is presented with a situation he cannot control, such as other kids playing with his favorite toy, eliminate that problem by removing that toy from his room before he has any play dates. Recognizing that other kids playing with this particular toy upsets him and causes him to throw a temper tantrum, hit other kids or otherwise misbehave gives you the opportunity to prevent this problem from occurring in the future.

Ignore your child. This is not always the answer to his behavior problems, but sometimes a complete lack of response is the best way to deal with a child who is not behaving accordingly. This approach is typically the best approach for behavior problems such as whining, crying and other non-violent, non-aggressive behaviors. When he realizes that his whining and/or crying isn’t getting him anywhere, he will stop.

Stay consistent with applying consequences to broken rules. Children with behavior problems are not exempt from the rules. Once they are made clear to your child, and the consequences are also made clear, be consistent in handing out consequences for negative behavior.

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