Is your child acting out through aggression, no cooperation or attention seeking behaviour? Family conflict can be a problem for a lot of people. Once a parent understands why the child is acting out steps can be made to find the problem and solve it.

How to reduce family conflictAttention Seeking:

The more positive attention you give , the less negative attention they seek.

Acting up:

A challenging behaviour is when we think they are trying to make our lives difficult, rather the child is unconsciously trying to show us how difficult life is for them, therefore compassion is the No 1 response.


Aggression is usually masking deep hurt and needs to be seen as a protective behaviour

A lack of co-operation:

A lack of cooperation is used unconsciously when the child is trying to communicate, that there are needs they have that you are not cooperating with – usually the need is for time with the parent. Parents often say ‘she is an angel when we are together on our own’. Meet the need for eight minutes of undistracted, undiluted phone off the hook time daily with your child and they will co-operate much more!

Children’s difficult behaviours

The main problem with children’s behaviours is how their parents interact with them – yet this is not said with any criticism. A parent cannot look after a child until they first look after themselves and many parents are struggling right now.

Over the past year of seeing parents on a 1 to 1 basis, the issues outlined above are ones many parents struggle with.  Yet many of these same parents are struggling themselves with worries or concerns, pressures and may even be parenting alone. The importance of Parenting the Parent cannot be overstated as we cannot give what we have not got. Therefore, personally if I am tired and overloaded, in my interaction with my children I am likely to be stressed, impatient and cranky.

Tips for Self Care for Parents

  • Take time for yourself to do things you enjoy whether reading, seeing a friend, cinema and so on
  • Talk to friends who have children and you will see ‘I am not the only one’ dealing with issues and it’s helpful in  terms of information and mutual support
  • Lighten up and Rule with Love, not laws and have realistic expectations
  • Do a parenting course to deal better with a challenging child etc
  • Seek out support for yourself in other areas of your life such as with relationship, bereavement, separation, budgeting etc
  • Balance self-care for others with your own self care
  • Perfectionists: Reduce your expectations and you increase your performance
  • Ask for help and accept the help that is offered
  • See more of the people whom you walk away feeling good, having had a laugh
  • Set a date night with your partner as you have couple needs
  • Take some quiet time to reflect every day, to reduce anxiety
  • Walk for a half hour every day to de-stress
  • Talk out a worry or concern, don’t bottle it up or use alcohol to numb/block
  • Meet your own needs
  • Picture perfect houses rarely are homes where people matter more than things so relax!
  • Ease up on yourself and others and tell yourself to ‘Slow down & let it go’
  • Be kind to yourself, gentle and compassionate, forgive yourself when you get it wrong
  • Stop beating yourself up as not being good enough, children need only ‘good enough’ parents and affirm yourself that you have always done your best and apologise to the child when you get it wrong and this heals the relationship.