How to Deal with your Child’s Behavioral Challenges

20% of children in America experience behavioral and emotional challenges such as conduct disorder, anxiety, and depression. Children communicate their frustrations in varying ways, and taking a moment to pinpoint challenges as a team will create a positive environment that encourages positive actions at-home!

Understanding Mannerisms

The ABC technique  (Antecedent, Behavior, and Consequence) is one of the most effective ways of comprehending your child’s mannerisms.

Antecedent refers to what happens before an act.

Example:

If a child shouts, the antecedent may be that the child was denied a toy.

What follows is the behavior which is the action exhibited by the child in response to the antecedent. In the scenario mentioned above, the behavior is shouting. Consequence (C) is the result that can either reinforce or discourage the behavior. For instance, if the child’s shouting results in them getting the toy, they may continue doing so. (Lang, R., et al. (2009). If it results in them losing a privilege, they are less likely to behave that way in the future.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is another excellent method of understanding your child’s character. It is a comprehensive assessment that aims to identify the purpose of a child’s behavior. It involves collecting information from multiple sources, such as parents, teachers, and therapists, for better understanding.

Strategies to Help with At-Home Outbursts

Before doing anything, take a deep breath and remain calm. The outbursts may be difficult at the moment, but things will get better!

A study published in Family Psychology’s Journal states that parental emotional regulation is associated with enhanced child behavior management. (Eisenberg, N., Cumberland,(1998).

Studies show that positive reinforcement is associated with a significant increase in desirable behavior in children (Eisenberg, N., Cumberland,(1998) . The analysis identifies that (a) parental reactions to children’s emotions, (b) socializers’ discussion of emotion, and (c) socializers’ expression of emotion each play a pivotal role in understanding the parental socialization of emotion.

Recognition of positive behavior is an appropriate response to the social environment creating the desired behaviors you may be seeking in times of outburst. Positive responses being presented after positive actions occur strengthens the likelihood of similar positive actions occurring in the future.

When Should Parents Seek Expert Help?

The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry reports that about 80% of children with diagnosed mental health disorders do not receive adequate treatment. One in six children aged 2-8 years has a developmental, behavioral, or cognitive condition. Such cases can easily be handled with early intervention measures. 

If nothing seems to work, it may be time to call the experts. Parents should look for signs of increased aggression, persistent sadness, and anxiety. Professional intervention may also be needed if a child’s behavior interferes with their daily life, such as their ability to learn or participate in school.

Aspire Day School is here to help. We have many rehabilitative behavioral treatment programs for Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD), Disruptive Disorders, Depression, Mood Disorders, Anxiety, and many other conditions. We create individualized treatment plans that attend to each student’s needs. 

Sources

  1. American Psychological Association. Children’s mental health.
  2. Healthline. What Is the ABC Model in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy?
  3. Taylor & Francis Online. (2009). Parental Socialization of Emotion.
  4. Nancy Eisenberg, Amanda Cumberland & Tracy L. Spinrad (1998) Parental Socialization of Emotion, Psychological Inquiry, 9:4, 241-273, DOI: 10.1207/s15327965pli0904_1

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