Raising children doesn’t come with a manual. Even with the greatest of intentions, parents can often feel like they’re in a losing battle when facing challenging behaviours from their kids, and in return respond in ways that aren’t productive. Sometimes, even the behaviours of parents are the trigger to a child’s response. It’s the hardest job in the world, and one with the highest stakes. So, when faced with challenging behaviours, and you feel like you’ve tried it all, what should you do next?
Even if you’ve never taken the professional help path before, it’s something to consider for all parents generally, but especially those with difficulties in the home. You might find that you’re in a cycle you can’t break, and with that trying to go it alone is just another thing on your plate. Professional therapists can listen to your issues, and have a clearer view of pathways, tools and techniques you can use, and teach your child, for a more effective outcome. They will have fresh eyes on your situation and create a plan that is specifically tailored to the situation. They can also be your support if you find yourself losing momentum on your plan, or struggling with some of the techniques. They’re here to help you through the harder times, and celebrate your wins.
Be open to a new approach
Think of some of the situations that have been in that has created high emotions, behaviours and responses with your child? There may be extreme tantrums and deeper cognitive or mental health issues at play. Sometimes, however, it is the small consistent behaviours that bring you to breaking point. For example, having your child constantly say no.
Saying no is an important skill to have, although we do not advocate teaching overcompliance, saying no too often can create a daily struggle and have a negative impact on you and your child’s life. Typically, we see parents responding in fairly consistent ways, which is combative or angry. Instead, it could be most helpful to adopt alternative communication with your child that supports both of you through the process. It might feel like you’re letting them ‘get away with it’, but gradually the relationship with your child will change, and the new more positive approach will create a greater outcome for all.
Trust in the long game
If you are implementing the tools and techniques indicated through your therapy sessions and plan, but feeling as though it’s not working, consider how much time has passed. It can sometimes take at least half as long to rectify a challenging behaviour as it has existed, so being patient with the process can also help to make you more patient with your child. They are still navigating their responses, behaviours and emotions, and will need to take some to undo habits. The tools you are given are proven methods that our qualified therapists have great faith in. If you’re concerned about how long it is taking, or have any concerns about the techniques, we are always here to listen and help find ways that work for you and your family.