Tips to handle challenging behavior in kids

Tips to handle challenging behavior in kids

Parenting of a child is an art and involves a lot of science too. Also, it is a wonderful experience as you can see the live effects of your efforts in your growing child. Although there is no correct or incorrect way of parenting but there are certain rules which should be followed during the challenging behavior in the kid. These lay the foundation in building the future approach of the child, towards the challenging situations in life.

1. Be consistent: If you anticipate a particular reaction for a “no” to a particular demand of the child, be consistent in your answer. The child will test your patience and your consistency to that particular demand in order to convert the answer to “yes” for an initial “no”. The rule of the game is to be stable on your answer, no matter what the tantrum is, or for how long the tantrum is. Consistency in your answer extrapolates the significance of “no. If there is no consistency, the child would not understand the importance and context of “no”.

2. Talk to your child: If we know the psychology of the child his behavior can be predicted and so adequate measures could be taken to stop that. To know the psychology, or thought process, of the child we should spend adequate time with the child and talk to him about his likes and dislikes. The more the child knows the verbal expression of his emotions the less commotion would be their Expression of his feeling / thought process verbally, simplifies the problem and channelizes the energy in a right direction.

3. Positive reinforcement: Everyone wants appreciation in life, be it a child or an adult. A simple way to promote good behavior, or prevent challenging behavior is to positively reinforce the right behavior. Appreciation of the required behavior intensify the child to repeat it again and again. The incentive could be a family ride to his favorite park, or even a star on his hand as a token of appreciation.

4. Have patience: Patience is the key to a happy parent. Parenting is a test of your patience and endurance. The child has the inherent right to be impatient, and the parent has the duty to be patient. Especially when the child is in the mid of a temper tantrum or a challenging behavior, it is the testing of parent’s patience. Never be impatient during the tantrums, because it will just aggravate the situation rather than giving a solution.

5. Avoid smacking: Never, ever should the parent resort to smacking. Even though there may be no long-lasting effects of smacking, but mental imprint is difficult to erase. It does not provide any solution to a problem, but it itself is a long-lasting problem. At times, it may appear to be last resort, or only resort, but try not to land up in a situation which makes smashing unavoidable. By considering the above solutions, it could be totally avoidable.

Dr. Puja Kapoor

She is a Pediatric Neurologist & Co-founder of Continua Kids. For more information, you can visit

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