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Are you living with a child with very serious behavior problems?

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If you have a child with serious behavior problems, you are probably exhausted and desperate for answers.

And probably scared, too.

I don't blame you one bit. Parenting is challenging enough when things go mostly right, but when a child decides to go down a difficult path the results can be tremendously painful for the entire family.

Turn your speakers UP!

What to do with a child with very serious behavior problems.

Let's start out by defining what are possible serious behavior problems.

  • Drug and alcohol use.
  • Sexual promiscuity.
  • Violent behavior - towards themselves or others.
  • Threatening or intimating behavior.
  • Severe change in school grades or school behavior.
  • Bullying.
  • Running away.
  • Vandalism.
  • Criminal activity.
  • Continual defiance (click here for a helpful article on the topic.)

Obviously, these are not all the problems a child with serious behavior problems might have, but it is an important list. If you recognize your child on this list, what do you do now?

First of all, you might want to consider a professional evaluation. Absolutely, if you have a child threatening violence either against themselves or someone else, you need to get help for the child immediately. The police, clergy, or physicians are some people who can help you find the exact help your child needs.

Secondly, taking a homelife inventory can be helpful. What I mean by that is observing your homelife and family members objectively for a set period of time to get an accurate picture of what is going on in your daily routine. For example, keep a log of arguments, disrespectful behavior, what the circumstance were that precipitated problems, etc. This can give you a place to start connecting the threads of cause and effect in your child and family.

Resources for a child with very serious behavior problems.

As a parent, you are probably going to need outside assistance to improve your homelife situation. Welcome this help and use it to its fullest. Resources range from counseling, self-help parenting systems and professionally designed parenting courses, all the way to boarding and military schools. Obviously, only you can decide what is right for your child and his challenges. Honestly, getting a handle on your child's behavior problems may take a combination of solutions, so don't be surprised if one "fix" isn't enough.

Talk to other parents online or offline and find out what others did in similar circumstances. No two families or children or parenting styles are identical, so while you will need to be willing to customize your own solutions, still, finding camaraderie with others who have gone this route before you will help tremendously.

Don't hesitate to change schools or  friends if you believe those things are a part of your child's problems. Certainly, a child must come to recognize and own her part in her behavioral problems. Nonetheless, children are immature and need influences of excellence combined with strong structure and making changes to improve your child's environment just makes sense if the situation is severe. Mom or Dad, you're going to have to get even more determined than your child is in order to work this through. Take heart! You can do it.

Along these same lines, make sure you are spending adequate amounts of time together as a family simply enjoying each other's company. This can be very difficult if a child in the family has severe behavior problems and is acting out regularly. In conjunction with using other resources, you may have to work into family time gradually, but you will know you have made significant progress when your troubled child actively looks forward to family time.

The most important thing to keep in mind when dealing with a child with very serious behavior problems is do not wait to take action. Ignoring the problems, hoping they are a phase, avoiding the challanges in front of you is only going to make the situation worse in the long run.

Take a deep breath, pray and start looking for resources - today - that can start your family back on the road to health and joy.

For additional insights, read this related article - The Oppositional, Defiant Teen: How James Lehman tackles the toughest behavior disorder (Excerpted from Transform Your Problem Child)

If you want to know what parenting program I can recommend that helps parents with struggling kids, that would be The Total Transformation program, hands down. Part of why this program works is because it supports parents extremely well.

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Related articles:
Consequences in elementary school for bad behavior
Common behavioral problems in children
Behavior problems in school age children
Teenage behavior modification
Behavior modification in children
Behavior modification strategies

Remember, I am giving you my thoughts as a long time parent, not as a therapist. This website does not dispense professional, medical, or legal advise. Please consult a qualified professional about your own situation.

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