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Parenting and Challenging Behaviour

Parenting can be difficult, particularly when your child is displaying challenging behaviour. Behaviour is considered challenging if it puts the person themselves, or people around them at risk, or if it leads to a poorer quality of life. These behaviours are persistent and difficult to manage, and can include displays of aggression and destructiveness, as well as defiance or self-harm. Some examples of challenging behaviours are:

  • having lots of angry outbursts

  • regularly shouting, swearing and being very argumentative

  • frequently hitting, biting, or kicking others

  • kicking, smashing or damaging things in their home or school

  • being unkind or bullying towards other family members or children

  • persistently getting into trouble at school

Challenging behaviour can be strenuous on parent-child relationships, and stressful for parents trying to manage, respond to, and discourage challenging behaviours and outbursts in their children. It can be frustrating for everyone involved, including other family members and teachers, but it is helpful to try and remember that for children, their behaviour is often how they try to communicate their feelings. Often angry or aggressive behaviours are displays of unknown or difficult to understand feelings, such as sadness or worry, feeling overwhelmed, ignored, or ashamed, or even scared or hurt. Children are also more likely to behave in ways that are harder to manage when they are tired, ill, or stressed. It is important to help children who are having these difficulties to try to understand their own emotions and express them appropriately.

For Help with Parenting and Challenging Behaviour:

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