1. Provide Consistency
Children who have behavioural difficulties generally function better in a calm, structured, consistent environment. If things are predictable and clearly understood by the child upfront, this may serve to prevent future behaviour problems from happening. Try to have meals and going to sleep at fixed times and keep to a reasonably set routine as much as possible.
2. Communicate Clearly
Be sure that you speak clearly, directly and address children by name. Ask them to look at your eyes or hold their hands out in front of you and make sure they are facing you, Once you have established eye contact, give instructions clearly, simply and step-by-step. Do not mumble, nag, shout or use too many words. Don’t try talking over the television or music that is playing. Ask for feedback from the child to ensure that the message has been taken on board.
3. Be Proactive
Try to understand what may trigger problem behaviour. If there are any events, certain places or activities in which the child participates that cause problems, be sure and talk to them beforehand about what behaviours are expected and how happy you will be that they are compliant with directions and displaying appropriate behaviour. Establish a set of rules at home which are drawn up and agreed upon in advance. Make sure that you speak to the child and talk about these rules when everyone is calm. Rules should be simple, fair and understood by all parties. “There will be no throwing toys in the house”, “There will be no yelling at mum or dad when they ask you to do something”, “There will be no hitting other children”. When a child breaks a rule, it must be clearly restated what that rule is and then some discipline is enforced. Don’t let the child argue or nag their way out of changing your decision about a rule. Once a rule is made, a child is reminded and an action follows. Do not engage in long-winded reasoning or lecturing. State what the rule is, label the inappropriate behaviour and stand your ground.
4. Focus on Positive Behaviour
Be sure to try and turn your behaviour around so you are focusing on positives. Catch the child being good as often as you can and praise appropriate behavior (especially when the child controls his or her self appropriately). Express your gratitude to the child for controlling his/herself in situations that might have produced an angry response. Be sure to communicate to the child that you are confident that they can learn to control themselves better.
5. Keep Yourself Under Control
If you have to reprimand or provide consequences to the child for inappropriate behaviour try to stay calm and use an even voice when reacting. Nagging, shouting or getting upset yourself will usually not address the problem appropriately. Be conscious of the behaviour that you are modeling in response to a situation that makes you frustrated. Try to demonstrate the appropriate reaction that you would like to see the child demonstrate.
6. Point Out The Perspective of Others
If your child engages in behavior that is viewed by others as aggressive or disruptive, point out to them how the other person feels as a result of their behavior. Ask them to look at the other persons face and describe how they feel.