Is you child's behaviour difficult to manage?

Behaviour management is part of the ordinary process of normal development where parents teach their children self-control so that they can participate in society.

By placing reasonable boundaries on their children's behaviour and using positive attention and rewards children can learn to manage their own emotions and feelings.

Top tips

  • Build a strong and trusting bond with your child - share happy times and celebrate together. It is easier to challenge a particular behaviour you are unhappy with if you and your child have a respectful and positive relationship to work from.
  • Be sure you understand what your child is capable of doing depending on their age and stage of development at different stages and sometimes "bad behaviour" is normal for your child's age. Having realistic expectations helps.
  • Have clear family rules that work in your household. Make sure everyone understands them and that all the adults agree on them. Children respond better to clear direct rules that are consistently applied. Be prepared to repeat yourself but offer warnings about what might happen if the rule isn't followed.
  • Notice your child behaving well. Notice when your child acts as you want them to and praise them for this. Often children only get attention when they do something wrong. Reinforce positive behaviour - with clear words e.g. "well done for sitting up at the table until we had all finished" offers attention and also clearly describes what the behaviour you noticed was.
  • You need to have consequences when children do not follow your agreed household rules. These need to be realistic and reasonable. Where possible natural consequences are better "if you don't put your football kit in the washing it won't be ready for next week and you won't be able to play". Again, they must be consistent, relevant to your child's age and all adults should have the same rules and consequences.
  • Show children how you want them to behave by being a positive role model. If they see you talking calmly and quietly when things go wrong they will be getting good messages about how to act themselves.

Further help

  • Speak to your child's school.
  • Speak to your doctor.
  • Speak to your Health Visitor.
  • Look at your local authorities Local Offer website.
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