Parenting Children with Behavior Problems

March 2, 2010 Amanda_HP

Parenting children with behavior problems is a real challenge. Dr. Steven Richfield, the Parent Coach, on how to manage behavior problems in children. Watch video.

A common problem every parent faces is how to assess and deal with behavior problems in children. Unfortunately, kids don't come with a manual and most of us learn parenting skills from our own parents and how they raised us. Sometimes, that's not enough when you're dealing with a child who presents special parenting challenges.

Labels like disobedient, difficult or bad are used to describe these children with behavior problems. They're challenging temperaments often provoke negative reactions in parents, which tend to make the behaviors worse over time.

Negative Parenting Habits

Many parents react to these difficult children with ineffective or inconsistent discipline and research has shown that the following parenting habits can lead to a cycle of bad behavior by both child and parents.

  • Parents model bad behavior and the child learns bad behavior.
  • Parents reinforce bad behavior, sometimes unintentionally. For example, laughing when the child curses because they think it's cute or funny.
  • Punishing the child out of anger or using harsh punishment. These can also create resentment in the child.
  • Escalating of emotions, where the child and parent become increasingly aggressive with each act of bad or challenging behavior. Equally as unproductive, the parent finally gives in to the child's demands.

So how can you effectively manage your child's behavior problems?

Dealing with Challenging Children

Our guest on this week’s HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show is known as "The Parent Coach." Dr. Steven Richfield has successfully worked with countless children and parents for over two decades, focusing his work as a child psychologist on child development, parent education, and the emotional problems of childhood. The product of his work, based in part on his experiences as the father of two boys, has culminated in an innovative approach to parenting. He has developed the concept of the "parent coach," publishing a book, coloring book, and an innovative set of Parent Coaching Cards. (Dr. Richfield addresses parenting and child behavior issues in articles on

On the HealthyPlace Mental Health TV Show, we spoke with Dr. Richfield about:

  • how to assess whether your child has a serious behavior problem that warrants professional help
  • strategies for managing and overcoming difficult behavior in children
  • why it's important to change from being "parent cop" to "parent coach"

You can watch the interview with Dr. Richfield, titled Parenting with Behavior Problems now.

Articles on Child Behavior

Here are some articles on child behavior and working with children who have behavior problems.

Share Your Thoughts or Experiences About Parenting Children with Behavior Problems

Share your experience in dealing with behavior problems in children. How has it made you feel? How do you react to it? What parenting tools have you found to be effective? Please leave your comments below.

APA Reference
Amanda_HP (2010, March 2). Parenting Children with Behavior Problems, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 21 from

Author: Amanda_HP

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