Will my child's mild behavior problems ever go away?

Polly Dunn

Sometimes mild behavior problems do go away on their own. It's part of a child's normal development to exhibit some behavior problems. No one is perfect, right? But if your child's behavior problems have been present for a while and are not going away, then it's time for you to intervene.

One of my favorite books, Parenting the Strong-Willed Child: The Clinically Proven Five-Week Program for Parents of Two to Six-Year-Olds, Third Edition by Rex Forehand, Ph.D. and Nicholas Long, Ph.D., gives lots of great advice on how to improve your child's behavior. As a parent and a child psychologist, this is my go to book. To be honest, you don’t even have to have a child with behavior problems to pick up some solid parenting tips from this book.

Parenting the Strong Willed Child:  The Clinically Proven Five Week Program for Parents of Two to Six Year Olds includes how to guides, homework, and daily monitoring guides for how to successfully attend to, reward, and ignore your child. It also teaches how to give instructions effectively and use time-out with success. In addition to these basics, it integrates tips on improving your communication skills, enhancing your child’s self esteem, and teaching your child social skills. And my favorite, the chapter on helping parents develop more patience!

If you’re thinking that your child has problems that go beyond rewarding, ignoring, and time out, don’t worry! At the end of the book there is a section devoted to specific problem behaviors, like tantrums, aggression, lying, and sibling rivalry. There are also specific instructions on managing problems with bedtime and sleeping, mealtimes, getting dressed, in the car, and at school.

If you’re committed to improving your parenting and your child’s behavior, then this book is a must read. It may not provide an overnight fix, but in five weeks you will surely see a dramatic improvement! Remember, just like achieving weight loss or fitness goals, changing your child’s behavior takes time. But your effort will pay off in the end, so stick with it! 

If you find that your child's behavior problems aren't improving, despite the advice from this book, contact a child psychologist in your area for more individualized assistance.

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