Tips on Dealing with a challenging child

June 15, 2018

Don't take their behavior personally. Take a deep breath. This will help you respond versus react. This role models emotional regulation.


Respond with compassion and empathy. They are reacting right now and need to take some time to calm down and talk about their feelings rather than lash out at you. Feelings are okay and we need to manage them in a healthy way.



Let them know their tone is hurtful. Use an impact statement, "Wow, I wasn't expecting that reaction, something must be really bothering you."


We all respond better to directions than demands. It feels more respectful. Try "your homework needs done before video games" rather than "do your homework now or you will not be playing video games tonight."


Establish clear and simple expectations with enforceable
consequences. Don't argue, simply remind them of the rule and stay calm. You are the adult.

Take responsibility for your part in whatever has happened. This teaches we all make mistakes but we need to own them and make amends.

Always follow up after an emotional exchange. Listen and help them figure out a better way to handle things next time. This clears the air and teaches emotional intelligence.

Want more tips? Contact us for a 15 minute phone consultation.

Quakerdale Family Services
2932 240th St
Marshalltown, IA 50158
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