Your priorities change the moment you start a family. Getting pregnant or adopting can be time-consuming and, for some, expensive. Then, once your child arrives, you’ll adjust your schedule and budget to accommodate their needs.
You may also have to address behavioral challenges, and your child’s behavior issues may vary based on the cause. Fortunately, you can use appropriate resources to address and manage your child’s behavior issues. Let’s look at some tips for parents of children with behavior challenges.
You can study behavior analysis.
Postsecondary programs can help you understand your child’s behavior issues and how to modify their behavior. An Associate of Applied Science in Early Childhood Care and Education program covers classroom organization and guidance, which addresses how to manage children’s behavior in a classroom setting. Students also take educational psychology concerning individuals with exceptionalities, ensuring they’re familiar with strategies for motivating students and developmental challenges that could affect their learning and behavior. As a parent, you can apply this knowledge to your challenges with your child and find ways to manage their behavior. Students pursuing Bachelor of Science in Early Childhood Education or Bachelor of Social Work degrees also study human behavior and address behavior issues.
Those with an undergraduate degree may opt to pursue studies in an online BCBA program. Earning a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis equips you with the skills needed to address behavioral issues and promote appropriate behaviors. This degree provides an excellent foundation for those raising or working with individuals with learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorders, anxiety or mood disorders, or cognitive impairments. Courses include behavior analysis, applied behavior analysis, behavioral management and supervision, and ethics for behavioral practice and research.
You can consult a therapist.
Earning a Master of Education in Behavior Analysis qualifies you to become a behavior analyst, school counselor, speech-language pathologist, or mental health professional. While earning a degree may be a great way for you to acquire the knowledge needed to address your child’s behaviors, you can seek out a therapist with a degree in this field if you cannot pursue these studies. Therapists use various strategies, including cognitive behavioral therapy, to help clients modify their behaviors. Depending on the nature of your child’s behavior issues, they may benefit from individual therapy, family therapy, or residential therapy programs.
You can address the cause of the behavior issues.
Children struggling with speech delays may have difficulty socializing and develop behavior problems. If your child’s language development delays contribute to their behavioral issues, you may resolve the behavior by investing in speech therapy.
Speech therapists have developed online games to motivate children to work on their language skills. Online speech therapy games include Bo & Arrow, Flashcard Flip, and Marine Team. These fun games promote language development by encouraging repetition and promoting correct articulation. You can also consult speech pathologists, who will create language goals for your child and help them master target words and improve their articulation and comprehension.
You can supplement your child’s speech therapy program by adding games to your routine at home. Playing bingo reinforces how to pronounce letters and numbers. Games such as Snakes and Ladders provide opportunities to count.
Language development issues aren’t the only reason children develop behavioral issues. Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), anxiety, and other conditions can also cause behavioral challenges. Your pediatrician may diagnose some conditions or refer your child to a psychiatrist or psychologist for a formal diagnosis. Pursuing a diagnosis ensures you understand your child’s issues and can turn to experts for tips to address those issues and manage behavioral issues.
Determine the reason your child has behavioral issues. You may be able to manage their behavior with speech therapy if communication issues are the cause, while children with ADHD and other disorders may need medication. Pursuing studies in behavior analysis can also equip you with the knowledge and skills needed to manage your child’s behavior.