Child’s Challenging Behavior

All children can be defiant, fussy, whiny, hurtful to others, excessively angry, withdrawn, constantly crying, or refuse to eat or sleep—once in a while. But when these behaviors become habits, it becomes a big challenge for parents and caregivers to be as loving, patient, persistent, and creative as possible. Many of these are normal behaviors and will resolve with simple strategies, but sometimes they become something more serious. Whether the child is in distress and communicating their stress and frustration the only way they know how, or whether the child’s personality requires a non-standard strategy to navigate around, experts from many backgrounds have suggestions.

If you or someone you know is in immediate need of support, please seek professional help. If you are in crisis, here are some immediate free resources.

Three Ways Parents Enable Their Child's Misbehavior

These popular parenting approaches might be working against you.

Clever Ways to Positively Reinforce Your Child Without Discipline

Read an excerpt from Out of Control.

Is My Child a Kleptomaniac?

Dr. Klass consulted child development experts. Here is a summary of what she learned: Most children will take something that’s not theirs at some time.

Managing Problem Behavior at Home

A guide to more confident, consistent and effective parenting.

Responding to Challenging Behaviors

Many times parents are not sure how to respond to their child’s challenging or unpredictable behaviors. Often, just when you feel that you’ve finally figured everything out and settled into a routine, something changes and it gets challenging again.

Should I Pay My Son $100 to Quit Fortnite?

A neuroscience-based parent guide to your nightly battle royale fight.

Why Shaming Your Kids Isn't Effective Discipline

Here's what you need to know about shaming your kids online and in public, including examples of shaming words that single parents, in particular, should avoid.

How to Address Challenging Behavior Taught by Parents

Teaching preschool exposes you to the good, the bad and, yes I’m going to go there, the ugly. Challenging behavior is a very normal part of early childhood development and one of the most daunting (and rewarding!) aspects of the job.

Why Shaming Your Children Is a Bad Idea and What You Can Do Instead

As parents, we need to step off our pedestal, stop dominating our kids, and instead treat them as we like to be treated. After all, do you like being shamed? Does it bring out the best in you?

Toddlers and Challenging Behavior: Why They Do It and How to Respond

This article explores the meaning behind challenging behaviors and how parents and caregivers can set age-appropriate limits for their toddlers.


The information offered here is not a substitute for professional advice. Please proceed with care and caution.