Children can present with a wide range of behaviour problems including defiance, negative attitude, disrespect, overly controlling, tantrums, withdrawn and shut down, sleep problems, eating problems, unmotivated, fearful, anxious and generally unhappy and sad.
Small amounts of these behaviours can generally be considered normal in childhood but when children’s troubling behaviours become persistent and entrenched it is important to take action.
When parents are concerned about their child’s behaviours and notice that these behaviours are having a negative effect on a child’s development, learning and general wellbeing it can be helpful to talk over your concerns with a child psychotherapist. This can help clarify what is normal and what needs help to change.
Following this initial discussion about your child it may be helpful for your child to see a counsellor/psychotherapist for a few sessions. Often the psychotherapist will be able determine the cause of the behaviour(s) and then work with the child and family together to develop ways to help change the problem. In some instances changing a problematic behaviour can be about parents learning new strategies to manage a child’s behaviours. Usually it is a combination of teaching and educating both the child and the parents and having conversations together about how they will do things differently.
Sometimes an intervention will help parents better understand their child and his/her particular temperament. This will mean that parents can form a stronger and closer relationship with their child which is so important before you enter the teenage years.