Helping Your “Problem Child”

Some children like to push boundaries and get into trouble. Some children are just natural rebels. Other children are looking for attention or looking to fit in with their friends. It’s natural to act out a bit in adolescence, but it needs to end before it results in life-altering consequences. As a parent, you would do anything to help. Here are some tips on how to help your problem child.

1. Listen

You need to listen to your child instead of just talking at them. Give them the opportunity to speak. You may be surprised at what they are feeling inside. When you listen, you may discover the underlying reason for bad or reckless behavior. It’s easier to tackle the problem when you know what is causing it. The simple act of listening can also be beneficial if the child simply wants attention.

2. Take them to therapy

Some children require extensive or specialized treatment. This is especially true for children who are getting into self-destructive behavior. You may choose to take your child to a therapist or a rehabilitation center. The leading addiction treatment centers in Orange County reflect the options available across the country. There’s no telling how long the road to recovery will be, but the sooner embarked upon, the better.

3. Build self-esteem

Children with high self-esteem are more likely to say no to peer pressure and make good decisions for their life. When a child believes in themselves and has goals for themselves, they won’t want to mess up any future opportunities with childish behavior.

To encourage self-esteem, compliment your child when they apply themselves in pursuit of a goal. You can also say daily affirmations with them every day. These affirmations should emphasize self-love and associate praise with curiosity and discipline, rather than talents and accomplishments.

4. Allow them to express themselves creatively

Teenagers have a lot of emotions flowing through them due to hormones and growing up. These new feelings can be quite intimidating. Many teens will let them build up until they explode. Many times, this explosion will be destructive.

Instead of allowing your teen to constantly be pent up, give them a creative outlet. Encourage writing, playing music, painting and other creative pursuits. These passions can give your child a safe place to express themselves. Remember to respect their privacy if they aren’t ready to share their art yet.

5. Establish consequences for bad behavior

Your child needs boundaries. Many children will push the boundaries to the limit, so you need to clarify where the boundaries are in detailed terms. When the child does break the rules, they need to experience consequences. Small infractions could result in something as small as no dessert or night without television. Larger infractions can result in larger consequences. If your child continues to break the law, it may be time to learn that consequences happen in the real world and not just at home.

It’s important to be consistent with punishments. You also need to keep up with punishments. If a child learns that you don’t stand by your punishments, they will learn that they can do whatever they want without having to worry about being punished. This will make them more willing to disobey you.

Your child secretly wants your guidance. Help give them the tools they need to let aggression out and make the right decisions. Remember no child is too far gone to make a change.

Speak Your Mind