change, stages of change, pre-contemplative stage, contemplative stage, preparation stage, action stage, maintenance stage, relapse, Affiliates in Behavioral Health, 44131, 44116, Rocky River, Independence, psychologist, therapist counselor, counseling
Michael Miller
Phone:  (216) 520-5969
Fax:      (216) 520-5098

6133 Rockside Rd. 
Suite 207
Independence, OH  44131

30400 Detroit Rd. 
Suite 301
Westlake, OH  44145
Child behavior problems

There are numerous causes and factors that may be related to behavioral difficulties.  There may be issues such as ADHD or ongoing family stressors.  Things to examine are factors such as possible alcoholism/drug abuse, abuse issues of any kind, depression, and angry parents.  For example, in many to most situations with an angry child, there is also an angry parent.  All parents should periodically reflect on whether they are teaching their children the lessons that they want their children to learn?  If any of these or similar issues are present, then addressing these issues is often the best place to start.

A common error many parents make is trying to be more of a friend then a parent to their children.  If this is the case, begin to turn that around.

Whenever feasible, using natural consequences is often the best strategy.  An example would be if a child breaks a toy after being told not to play without supervision, the parent does NOT run out and replace the toy.  Rather, the parent empathizes how disappointed the child may be but that they will have to save up to replace it, wait until their birthday, etc.  The parent does NOT rub their child's nose in their non-compliance.  A great advantage is that it removes the parent from having to punish.  The intent is to help teach the child to think about a situation and what might happen.  Obviously, you don't let a child run in front of a car and you usually don't do nothing when a child is failing in school.

One of the most helpful things you can do is shift your attention to catch your child being good and offer praise, hugs, high fives, etc.  Increase your acknowledgments of what they are doing right and decrease your focus on problems.  Research repeatedly proves that responding to what is going right is much more effective than continually monitoring for problems.

A very common mistake that most parents make is repeating themselves over and over.  This generally teaches our kids to tune us out.  This frequently is followed by our raising our voices and feeling that "They ONLY listen when we yell."  Many get stuck in this rut.

If a consistent focus on the positives isn't working adequately, time-out is usually the best discipline technique to try.  Time-out is short for Time-out from positive reinforcement.  A great advantage is when used correctly, time-out is done and over quickly.  It can help parents respond non-emotionally.  Once the time-out is over and BRIEFLY discussed, then let it go.  A common mistake is for the parent to continue talking about the negative behaviors after the time-out.  Best to use time-out, rather than threatening to use it.  If you respond early in the behavior sequence, often things can interrupted early on or "nipping things in the bud."  If behaviors return afterwards, it can be used again.

Natural Consequences                                    Using Time-out Effectively

Catch them being Good                                  Refusing Time-out


                           Copyright 2008 - 2012.   Michael Miller.   All rights reserved.

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