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Are you struggling with some common behavioral problems in your children?

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Some of the most common behavioral problems in children include:

  • not doing chores
  • back talking
  • being disrespectful
  • not getting homework done
  • being mean to siblings
  • school problems
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What causes some of the most common behavioral problems in children?

  • lack of structure or guidance
  • difficulties at home
  • difficulties at school
  • genetic predisposition

This is only a partial list, of course, of causes of common behavioral problems in children, but it is a good start. Let's examine each of these from a parenting standpoint.

Lack of structure or guidance that leads to behavioral problems in children.

As parents, we cannot control our children, but we do have a vast amount of influence. Our real job is to help our children develop self-control.

How do we do that?

We use structure and guidance to teach our children how the world works and how they fit in in a productive and satisfying way. It may sound simplistic, but time-honored structures such as
  • regular dinnertimes
  • bedtime routines
  • family nights
  • daily homework time
  • and family play

can all be used in an intentional way to build a strong family framework and teach children how to structure their time, manage their emotions, work together as a team and build self-discipline. These all contribute to developing self-control.

On the other hand
  • regular unsupervised TV,  movie, or music exposure
  • unsupervised video game or computer usage
  • lack of intentional character training
  • lack of care given to the choosing of friends
  • unsupervised free time
are current cultural norms that are working against you as a parent. These problems you can control. Consider replacing them with healthy alternatives.

Difficulties at home or school can cause common behavioral problems in children.

Some problems at home or school cannot be avoided. Life IS problems. However, as parents, if we work to minimize the unnecessary problems in our children's daily lives we go a longs ways towards minimizing the personal problems they develop.

The first trick to solving problems is in facing them. If your child is having behavioral problems at school, don't ignore those issues and hope they are a phase. Talk to your child and the school. Find out the facts as best you can. Remember, your child is a young immature human who can make mistakes without even realizing it. And remember that teachers, administrators and other children are simply people, too, with problems of their own.

Work to fix the school challenges you can and teach your child problem solving skills for the problems that cannot be fixed.

Home problems can be trickier.

If your home is undergoing serious upheaval, such as divorce, illness, moving, etc., now is the time for extra patience for everyone in the family. Children especially don't have the experience or perspective to handle highly emotional incidents well. Adults are often uncomfortable about what to say or do in these challenging situations.

If that scenario sounds familiar to you, consider getting some outside help through counseling, pastoral care or the wide range of parenting resources available to you (books, classes, cd's). Look for another parent you admire and ask them to mentor you through this difficult season of life. Your strength or anxiety can get passed on to your child, so it's important you care for yourself first.

Genetic predisposition can add to behavioral problems in children.

We all have genetic quirks we've inherited. Generally, we can learn problem solving skills that can help us strengthen these weaknesses so they are less of a bother or even no bother at all. Personal growth should be a central pillar in each of us.

As a parent, you are in a great position to know your child and his genetic makeup. Just make sure you don't let your child use this information as an excuse for bad behavior. There are many great books and resources (like this article) available to learn and practice problem solving skills. The same child who can learn to problem solve with his video game can also learn to do his homework and be respectful.

Want more information? Take a look at this helpful article entitled Youre making me crazy! When Youre at the End of Your Parenting Rope.

And do yourself a favor and sign up for my ezine "I Love My Child" (sign up box above). We'll tackle these parenting issues together.

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Related articles:
What to do with a child with very serious behavior problems
Consequences in elementary school for bad behavior
Behavior problems in school age children
Teenage behavior modification
Behavior modification in children
Behavior modification strategies

Remember, I am giving you my thoughts as a long time parent, not as a therapist. This website does not dispense professional, medical, or legal advise. Please consult a qualified professional about your own situation.

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