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 Understanding Your Child’s Behavior!
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  Article Date: December 17, 2007


In order to understand why your child is misbehaving it is extremely useful to keep a diary:

 Identify one behavior that you would like to change.  Be as specific as you can e.g. wont do as s/he is told, hitting, demands things, whines. Write the behavior down.

 When the behavior occurs, write down what led immediately up to it (triggers) and what happened afterwards (consequences)?  Also record how you behave and feel?  Please use (print) the form if this is helpful.

 After a week try to see if there is a pattern to the behavior.  When is it occurring (times, situations)?  Who is it occurring with?  What are the triggers?  What are the consequences or “pay-offs” for your child?  Often this is related to getting attention, “winding-up”, getting their own way (“giving in for a quiet life”).     

 Ask yourself what is my child learning from the way I respond to the behavior?  Am I setting limits and boundaries consistently?

Once you have a clear picture you are ready to change the pattern by changing the triggers and consequences.  You may have to try and ignore certain behavior, try not to give in, remove certain privileges, look and sound as if you mean it when asking you child to do something.  Most importantly concentrate on encouraging and rewarding good behavior!