Growing up isn’t easy and there’s no way around it. Unfortunately, there is no magic cure to making puberty better – but, usually, it doesn’t cause too many problems other than giving the parents premature gray hairs. In up to 16% of children, however, puberty comes with something more serious: disruptive behavior.
Ways to Help Your Child’s Disruptive Behavior
Disruptive behavior can have many different forms, the most common being Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder. With Oppositional Defiant Disorder, the child is likely to rebel against authority – they may have anger issues and refuse to follow rules. While all teens have these moments, Oppositional Defiant Disorder turns these moments into habit.
As a parent, there are several tips to remember when dealing with your child’s disruptive behavior:
- Watch for mental disorders or dangerous behaviors. The first step to helping disruptive behavior is to look for the underlying cause. Often, mental illness or substance abuse can lead to deeper issues.
- Don’t get into power struggles. As the parent, you have to take the high road. By getting into a fight with your child, you are legitimizing their behavior.
- Carrot, not stick. While boundaries are important, being too strict can push a child away. Instead, try focusing on reinforcing good behaviors, rather than pointing out everything bad.
- Be fair. Let your child know what will happen if you break the rules and then stick to your own guidelines.
- Listen. Try to open up lines of communication with your child – if some problem is causing their behavior, they are more likely to seek you out if you make them feel safe.
- Stay positive. While dealing with bad behavior can be hard, a good attitude will go a long way to helping the problem.
If your child’s behavior gets out of control, it may be time to consider professional help.
Asheville Academy for Girls can help
Asheville Academy for Girls, a therapeutic boarding school for young girls ages 10-14, can help your daughter with oppositional defiant disorder find success.
For more information about Asheville Academy for Girls, please call 800.264.8709 today!