How to Deal with your Child’s Change in Behaviour

If you find that your child’s behaviour has recently changed then here’s a question that you may want to ask yourself as a way of finding out what may be causing the change in behaviour.

Has there been a recent occurrence/change in your child’s life?  By this I mean has something triggered your child’s change in behaviour?

Thing is, there are obvious events that can trigger a child’s change in behaviour yet there are others that are less apparent that may play a role in this transformation.  Whatever the trigger, if there’s a change in behaviour then you will need to pick up on it and deal with it.

Some obvious events may include divorce and separation, bereavement, moving home or school and the birth of a sibling.  Less obvious ones may include a statement made by a significant person in your child’s life including, teachers, parents and friends or a friend moving away.

Once you discover what that trigger is then you can act on it.

The first thing to do is to acknowledge the situation, verbally, to your child.  Let him or her know that you understand and are aware that whatever they have experienced is important to them.

Ask them how they feel about it.  This can be a tricky question to ask, especially if your child is very young, but there’s a way that works for almost anyone.  I call it the “I wonder technique” and if you would like more than a yes, no answer then this one’s a good one.

Say for instance your child’s best friend has changed schools, and this is the trigger to the change in behaviour, you could say, “I’m not sure how I would feel if my good friend [name one who’s familiar to your child] moved away. It wouldn’t be fun, that’s for sure. I wonder how you’re feeling now that Tom and his family have moved away.”

You know you’re child best so you will know the best time to bring this up especially in the case of teenagers.  I have found that discussing issues while in the car or over a meal works really well.  So does during our walk to and from school.

If at first you don’t succeed in getting your child to speak, leave it and then try again.

The best thing you can do, as your child moves from one stage of development to the next, is to pay attention to her or his changing environment and “invite” them to talk about it.

Always keep the door to conversation open. Children invited to do so over and over again, are bound to walk through it at some point.

If your child’s behaviour has been changing over time, then you really need to do something about it now as opposed to later…a stitch in time saves nine and all that.

If you’re unsure what has caused the changes in behaviour and are concerned about your child then let’s talk and see how we can remedy the situation.

photo credit: wiccked mjc-2012-06-03-IMG_4573 via photopin (license)

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