What does this mean to you? What is challenging behaviour at its core? Is it behaviour that just bothers you, or it is behaviour that is interfering with your life? 

There is actually a very important separation between these two. One that requires a whole lot of self-awareness as parents. Have you ever, or do you ever actually look inside to see where a certain behaviour is hitting you and how its challenging your stuff? This is a big step I think most of us as parents miss. We just feel frustrated or worried or annoyed, so we jump straight in and we defend this feeling of ours by shouting, yelling, crying, or demanding depending on your parenting style. We want the child to stop immediately so you can stop feeling bothered. Does this sound familiar?

Now sometimes challenging behaviour can come from a variety of different things. We all know the tired, hungry (hangry in my sons case), over-stimulated, high on sugar behaviour. This can be a big dilemma as we still want the behaviour stopped yet there are other factors we need to take into consideration before we can act. Did I just feed them lollies? Did they stay up really late last night to watch the end of the movie? Are they pumped up from that birthday party we just left? Its certainly not about condoning what you see as challenging behaviour its about self-awareness again and noticing that the behaviour may be coming from something other than a child trying to annoy you. It is very rare they are trying to cause you discomfort but more that they are trying to get their own needs met and have forgotten about yours in the process.

I suggest taking some time to actually look at some of the current behaviours of your child/children that bother you and categorising them as things that bother you ‘just because’ and things that actually affect you tangibly ‘getting to work on time’ This will help you see that maybe you can be a tad more accepting of your Childs behaviour where they are not in fact impacting you directly. The key is looking deeper into your own values and beliefs, how they are affecting you in parenting your children and why they are there. Most importantly, are they still serving you in life and enhancing your life? If not then maybe the change actually starts with you and not them.

As far as the behaviour that is really affecting you in a very tangible way, P.E.T teaches a specific skill-set for managing this in a fashion that will have your child changing their behaviour for the right reasons and not because you have threatened them or yelled at them. Because they have realised they are affecting you negatively and decided to stop themselves.

In closing try and work out if you are on the fence with accepting your Childs behaviour or if you are maybe over the fence and quite unaccepting of most of your child’s behaviour. This will help you work out how accepting you actually are of yourself and if it comes up that you are quite judgemental, then start by working on why you have adopted this approach? Again, same questions… is this serving you in achieving happiness in your family, and in life?