ThoughtFullBoard Blog

"HELP!!!!! My kids misbehave…I CAN’T TAKE IT" by Dr. Sharon Carson M.D.

Often parents ask my advice on changing challenging behaviours……which is tricky because depending on the age of your child, “behaviour” is often communication or lack of a particular skill.  For example, a meltdown might be the inability to effectively communicate feelings such as; surprise, disappointment, frustration, anxiety, even excitement.  So changing behaviour can’t be tackled without talking about feelings.  The situation is further complicated by the fact that most children are stronger visual learners at a young age……they’d rather not talk, but experience and see what we are communicating to them.  A strategy that has been helpful is the use of collaborative problem solving.  This is a parenting strategy that requires patience, and PRACTICE.  It is a 3 step process that involves validating your child’s feelings (even if you don’t get it!), allowing the child to calm down (helping to teach self/emotional regulation), then once calm discussing a strategy for compromise.  These strategies are being used in school to help kids with challenging behaviours.  Check out www.livesinthebalance.org for useful resources.

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