Help Your Child Change Their Difficult Behavior in 3 Easy Steps

Author: Brent Sweitzer
Original Post Date: November 12, 2021
Children fighting on a couch. Learn to help your child change their difficult behavior.

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.


Play Therapy Helps Children Manage Their Emotions

If you are struggling in your relationship with your child in the Cumming, Alpharetta or Johns Creek area, I would like to help. I specialize in high-quality play therapy at my Cumming counseling office. Play therapy can help your child regulate their emotions and overcome anxiety and behavior issues. To start your child’s counseling journey, follow these simple steps:


Reach Out

Call me at 678-701-7545 or fill out this form so we can schedule a free 20 minute consultation. This helps you make sure there’s a fit between what you’re wanting to get out of counseling and my skills & approach.


Begin Counseling

Once you decide to begin counseling, you’ll fill out the initial paperwork securely using the client portal. We will meet and begin the therapeutic counseling journey together.


Experience Relief

Through your child’s counseling sessions, we will start working on their healing — experiencing shifts, progress, and relief (for your child and your family) as they go.


Play therapy isn't the only service I provide at my Cumming Counseling office.

I also help couples connect through marriage counseling, and offer teen therapy, premarital counseling and individual counseling for issues such as stress and anxiety, grief and loss, and men's issues.


  • Navigate peer struggles
  • Assert their independence without doing harm
  • Feel better about themselves
  • Cope with challenges at home


Individual Adults

  • Improve communication in relationships
  • Manage work stress
  • Recover from traumatic experiences
  • Improve communication in relationships



  • Heal from affairs
  • Improve communication
  • Increase intimacy and closeness
  • Navigate the challenges of blending families


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