Some clients attending me on a One to One were in touch regarding  to do with an issue they were concerned with with their child, we talked and I had given them Dr T Humphreys book Self Esteem, the key to your child’s future; essential reading for any parent. A few pointers from the book that may be of help to parents are summarised:


Children’s troubled behaviurs are always right

Problematic behaviours of children are signs and it it most important that they are not displayed in vain

There is some hidden conflict within the child, so its the ‘why’ of the behaviour that’s important

Emotional and behavioural problems among children arise primarily from what happens within the family

The major cause of children’s problems is how their parents relate to them

The most typical cause of problems arising within children themselves;  is low feelings about themselves

Children act in ways that accord with their high or low opinions of themselves

If your child exhibits problem behaviour it is important that you stay separate from these behaviours and do not get trapped into conflict, in other words hit your PAUSE button and pull out of power struggles. Look at your interaction with the child and ‘catch them being good – not bad and you will bring out the best in them – not the worst. Treat them with Respect – as you wish to be treated

Do not force your way into the hidden world of your child.

Create safety for your children to reveal their doubts and fears about themselves and you

Check that you are interacting with your children in ways that mirror their self-worth, by mirroring back to all their goodness and their worth. Correct the behaviour; but unconditional love means ; I may not like the behaviour; but I always, always love you.  Therefore, compassion is the No 1 response to their challenging behaviour as its giving you an important message about their inner world and needs to be seen as a ‘cry for help’

Your child’s aggression

A child’s aggression may be a function of the blocking of the needs within a rigid, restrictive, dominating and controlling code of parental behaviours. Alternatively, a childs aggression may be the consequence of that child imitating parental behaviour

Solutions to challenging behaviour

I cannot change anyone; however I can change myself; and when the parents changes their interaction; generally things improve within the relationship and the normal challenges can be resolved once parent and child stay ‘in relationship’, therefore be KIND and maybe seek first to understand; then to be understood, when the child has had a sense of being heard and understood.

Tips to deal with difficult behaviour

  • Do not get into conflict with the child
  • Stay calm & unflappable
  • Stay separate
  • Remove yourself if you are going to lose control of your responses
  • Explore when you are both calm; what hidden conflict is leading to this behaviour

If, in spite of your best efforts, a child’s problematic behaviour continues, it is wise to seek professional help

The best professional help for children is either family therapy or psythotherapy, drug treatment is not recommended