After 20 years and over 20,000 appointments with parents and children discussing children’s behaviour problems, here are the top ten things I’ve learnt along the way:
Children need to just DO AS THEY’RE TOLD!
Children are not “Their own Boss”! You (the parent) are THE BOSS!
Children’s misbehaviour is usually just that, children misbehaving.
Children misbehave – because they can get away with it!
It’s not all about Attachment Issues and Attachment Disorders– research shows ‘attachment issues’ are hugely over-diagnosed and over-emphasised.
Behavioural diagnoses such as ADHD/ADD, ODD and Conduct Disorder often just become excuses for bad behaviour, and making excuses never helps anyone.
Much of the parenting advice today, including from so-called experts, is based on flawed or misquoted research, and more often than not, it’s based on warm fussy popular opinion. This is unhelpful at best.
Most parents with badly behaved children are good parents that have been given ill-fitting advice (or simply bad advice).
If adults have a hard-enough time managing their anger, it’s foolish to expect children to be able too, especially young children. Parents need strategies to manage their children’s anger.
Children need boundaries and consequences for their actions. Our job is to prepare children for the real word, where there are endless rules and huge consequences for breaking those rules.