Challenging behavior is a big agonizing unruly topic. Working with it is crucial to peace at home so this will be the first in a series of 3 to unpack it and offer effective solutions. I work with lots and lots of parents whose kids are strong willed and do challenging behavior like hitting, not cooperating, yelling back, stonewalling, getting intensely angry, fighting with siblings, breaking and throwing things plus much more.
The parents all want to know the same 2 things. First, they want to understand why their kid is doing this challenging behavior. Then, they want to clearly understand what they can do to stop it. Since I had my own kids and have studied this for 15 years, I have information that will help. Even better, Bounceback Parenting author and mother, Alissa Zorn and I have created a community for parents exactly for this. It's called The Real Peace Place.
First, we need to understand what challenging behavior is and why it happens. That's what we'll focus on today as knowing the problem helps give us a different lens so we can respond better. I don't know about you, but when my daughter would yell, refuse, kick the door in, or scream "No, I won't!" I wouldn't respond well. I would get triggered and yell back, punish, get alternately angry and frustrated or hopeless. When she'd do this in public I'd feel embarrassed, mortified. When she'd do something to her little sister, I'd feel Mama Bear protective energy and dominate her; then it would get worse.
Here is the range and some examples of challenging behavior so we are all talking about the same thing.
kicking in doors
fighting with siblings
being uncooperative to get ready
having a hard time transitioning
not wanting to go
throwing a tantrum when they don't get what they want
refusing to do chores