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Challenging behaviours

While parenting is rewarding, it can also be difficult. It is normal for children to display a range of difficult behaviours over the course of their development. While these behaviours often can’t be classified into a diagnosable disorder, these behaviours can be very challenging and difficult to manage. If you need help in managing your children’s behaviours, it is okay to seek help. In fact, by better understanding your children’s behaviours and gaining skills in managing their behaviours, you might be able to avoid bigger problems in the future. We can help you if your child is displaying any of the following challenging behaviours:

Toddlers to preschool aged children

  • Has sleep difficulties
  • Has difficulties with toilet training
  • Experiences temper tantrums
  • Doesn’t listen when spoken to
  • Has trouble following instructions
  • Interrupts others
  • Displays refusal and defiance
  • Displays repetitive behaviours
  • Fights with siblings
  • In the preschool setting: has separation anxiety, has a fear of starting preschool, is being bullied or is being the bully, is hitting/kicking peers, refuses to comply with teachers, etc.

Primary school aged children

  • Has sleep difficulties
  • Doesn’t listen when spoken to
  • Has trouble following instructions
  • Interrupts others
  • Is disorganised
  • Doesn’t take responsibility for own actions
  • Has emotional meltdowns
  • Has behavioural meltdowns
  • Displays refusal and defiance
  • Argues with adults
  • Has repetitive behaviours
  • Fights with siblings
  • In the primary school setting: has separation anxiety, has a fear of starting primary school, has a fear of or has struggled with the change associated with moving schools, is being bullied or is being the bully, refuses to comply with teachers, etc.

High school aged children

  • Doesn’t take responsibility for own actions
  • Struggles to follow instructions or complete tasks
  • Doesn’t listen when spoken to
  • Argues with adults
  • Refuses to comply
  • Acts disrespectfully or defiantly
  • Fights with siblings
  • Is disorganised
  • Has issues with self-esteem & confidence
  • Succumbs to peer pressure or exerts peer pressure on others
  • Engages in risk-taking behaviours (risky use of alcohol and drugs, risky sexual behaviour, trespassing, vandalism, fighting, dangerous driving, gambling, etc.)
  • In the high school setting: has a fear of starting high school, has a fear of or has struggled with the change associated with moving schools, is being bullied or is being the bully, truancy, school refusal, noncompliance with teachers, etc.

Assessment

During your first session we meet with you and your child to conduct a clinical interview to identify your child’s underlying behavioural concerns. If we believe that your child may have a diagnosable disorder, such as attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorderoppositional defiant disorder or intermittent explosive disorder, we will suggest that your child undertake a behavioural assessment. Following these investigations, we develop a personalised, evidence-based treatment plan to help your child and your family.

Treatment

Children’s behaviours have a purpose; children behave in particular ways to meet their underlying needs. The aim of behavioural intervention is to shift children’s behaviour while ensuring that their underlying needs are met. We use behavioural intervention therapy to teach you skills that enable you to recognise your children’s behaviours, understand the reasons for their behaviours and provide you with strategies to meet their underlying needs in alternative ways. This intervention may also include:

  • Parenting skills training
  • Emotional regulation
  • Problem solving

For more detailed information on what to expect in your sessions with us, please visit our Appointments page. If you would like help in understanding and managing your child’s challenging behaviours, please contact us to schedule an appointment.