When your child’s emotions lead to problematic behavior, like hitting or breaking things, how do you respond? In the heat of the moment, most parents resort to ineffective methods of diffusing the situation and/or punishing the child. It doesn’t have to be this way!
Why Children Engage in Difficult Behavior and How Parents Can Help
Difficult behavior in children occurs when the child feels intense emotion and lacks the tools to channel that emotion properly. By acknowledging the child’s feelings and providing them with healthy ways to express those feelings, we can help our children manage their anger and frustration — diffusing the situation and changing the problematic behavior.
In my latest parenting tips video, I will show you three simple steps to help your child change their behavior by managing anger and frustration. These steps form a memorable acronym: ACT. The ACT model* is a proven parenting strategy that is easy to remember and straightforward to execute during the tricky moments that all parents experience. I have used it with great success in my private counseling practice as well as with my own children.
The next time you see your child’s anger and frustration lead to problematic behavior, employ the ACT model.
*The ACT model was developed by Dr. Garry Landreth, founder of the Center for Play Therapy in Denton, TX.