How to Handle a Difficult Child:

Feb 22, 2016 by

How to Handle a Difficult Child:
  1. Parents sit down together and talk about which behaviors need to be modified and what the consequences will be for each of these behaviors.
  2. Sit down with the child when he/she is calm and explain that these behaviors are unacceptable and what the consequences are if the child violates the rule/expectation.
  3. Always follow through with the consequences – if you back down one time, this is called intermittent reward and the behavior will continue (might get worse) because the child knows they can break you down.
  4. When the child is acting in a way that is unacceptable, take him/her by the arm and pull him/her aside, make eye contact, and let them know the consequence.  Be patient, do not raise your voice, but keep leading the child back to their room, time-out spot, etc. until they comply.  At first you might end up doing this for 2 hrs. before the child realizes you are not giving up.


  1. Tell the child that you want them to think about the way they behaved and apologize for the behavior after the consequence has been carried out.
  2. Make eye contact with the child and do not yell or lose your temper.
  3. Both parents must present a united front.  Dividing and conquering is a simple tactic that kids will use to manipulate you.  This means parents must communicate about the child’s behavior and be on the same page about consequences.
  4. Your child will whine and moan and throw tantrums in order to push boundaries – hold the boundaries and eventually the child will realize that they are no longer controlling you.

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