Child behaviour problems are unlikely to have only one cause. Many things can affect children’s behaviour. At least the following five areas are importantto think about:
1. Children seek attention፡ If a child cannot receive positive attention, he or she will seek negative attention. Often children seek attention when it is difficult for parents to give it to them such as when a parent is engaged in another activity (e.g., cooking dinner, caring for another child, talking on the phone, or working). When children are behaving, the natural response of the parent is to go on doing what he or she is doing, not paying attention to the child. The child does not get as much attention when he or she is being good. When their child misbehaves, parents often stop what they are doing and start to give the child a warning or explanation. This provides the child with attention for misbehaving. Despite the fact that this attention seems “negative,” it has been repeatedly shown that this type of attention is likely to increase the frequency with which a child misbehaves. Even when the child stops misbehaving at the time of the command, he or she may be more likely to misbehave in the future.
2. Children seeking choices: Some kids believe they only count when they have power over things. One way of avoiding power struggles is to give your child choices. For example if you want your child to take a bath, give him or her some choices about when they can choose to take the bath. If you want the child to eat breakfast, give him or her some choices about what they can eat “Do you want bread with honey or oatmeal ?” “Do you want to do your homework before your free time or after?” Giving your child limited choices lets your child feel like he or she has some control over his or her life and whichever choice the child makes, it is the “right” answer.
3. Parents’ characterstics: Parents differ in many ways that can affect their parenting. For example: their own experience of childhood and being parented, personality factors, problems of their own and illness and, expectations of themselves and their children
4. Stressfull life events: Stressfull event (e.g. death, divorce, financial problems, illness)can effect a child’s emotional well-being and behvavior. Stressfull events can also affect a parent’s perception of the child which in turn lead to a distorted view of the child’s behaviour problem
5. Responses given for past misbahviour: The consequences of a behaviour are important in increasing or decreasing the chance of that behaviour happening again in the future. Unhelpful patterns of discipline or punishement can develop to increase the chance that problem behaviour will happen and decrease thechance that desired behaviour will happen.