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Why is My Child Behaviourally Challenging?

Why is my child behaviourally challenging? Have you ever said “My child is so manipulative, attention-seeking, unmotivated, stubborn, willful, intransigent, bratty, spoiled, controlling, resistant, out of control, and defiant. Perhaps even: they are skilled at testing limits, pushing buttons, coercing adults into giving in, and getting their way?

Dr Ross Greene in his book “The Explosive Child: A New Approach for Understanding and Parenting Easily Frustrated, Chronically Inflexible Children” explains that research is showing that behaviourally challenging because they’re lacking skills to not be challenging.

For a lot of parent’s this may be hard to get their head around.  However since studying Applied Behaviour Analysis, I have always come from an angle that there is always a reason for a child’s behaviour.  Sometimes the antecedent (before the behaviour) can be difficult to pick at the start because we are more focused on reducing the behaviour.  However we can not reduce the behaviour without understanding what is causing the behaviour.

But my child is always challenging?  The majority of children are not challenging from the second they wake up to when they go to sleep.  The majority of children have times throughout that they are coping and enjoying their activities.

Challenging children often lack the skills of flexibility, adaptability, frustration tolerance and problem solving skills.  This is where the majority of challenging children have the most difficulty, is when they need to apply these skills.

When does your child need to have these skills?

  • Every time an adult gives your child a directive.
  • Interacting adaptively with everyone that they interact with.
  • Handling disagreements.
  • Completing hard homework tasks.
  • Dealing with change of plan.
  • Dealing with different environments.

When you really look at it so much in our life depends on handling the above skills.  Understanding the why they behave the way they do can, by itself, lead to improvements in your interacting with your child, even before any formal strategies are tried.

For a child on the Autism Spectrum and with Sensory Processing Disorder, they can be overloaded from their environments and needing to use the above skills which usually is the cause of the sensory overload.  By looking at all of these factors within the above skills, will reduce the sensory overload as we look at closely at times when it causes the majority of sensory overloads.

The challenge for parents is that they need us to look at our beliefs about challenging behaviours and apply strategies that are often a far cry from ways in which most adults interact with and discipline children who are not behaviourally  challenging.

This is not an easy process and in the Emotion and Behaviour Busting Program, together we will break this area down so that you are no longer guessing what is causing your child’s behaviour.  This is so important for parent’s because your child does not want to be behaving the way they are and they need us to help them to develop the above skills.

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