Parents: Dealing With A Challenging or Difficult Child Behaviour?

Discover 7 Strategies How to Make The Interaction a Successful One.

The first step in dealing with challenging or difficult child behaviour is to show patience. 

This means, taking some cooling period before saying or acting on it. The last thing we want is to regret doing something out of anger. It can also involve having the student or child sit in a time out corner or imposing a reasonable punishment. This is so, until the teacher or parent can deal with this unbefitting behaviour. 

Some kids are naturally easy going, happy, friendly and well mannered. Of course, they’ll still cry if their candy falls out of the packet. Although, in general, some kids have a neutral sort of temperament that help make a parent’s job easier. 

Some may cling onto parents when it’s time for preschool. Some love going to school and meeting new friends. They simply settle down quickly after getting mad or excited. 

And I’ve seen some adaptable kids. They accept accordingly depends on the environment by not getting into “temperamental mode”. Especially when you’re in a mall doing your weekly grocery shopping. Out of frustration, they start kicking their legs up in the air just because mummy said no to something. 

On the other hand, at least a third of all children depart dramatically from that profile. I was talking to a parent from one of my students last week. She only found out about her child’s conditioned on his third birthday. 

At that time, it was his birthday party and she was hosting it among friends and family. She wondered why he isn’t playing with the other kids. Instead he confined himself in his own world and start rolling on the couch by himself. He also speaks differently from other three-year old.

After a few days from his party, they brought him to visit a pediatrician and was diagnosed with mild autism and ADHD – (Attention Deficit hyperactivity disorder). [Read more here]

Oftentimes, our personality is based on our parents. As we grow older, it changes according to the environment. Our friends, school, the workplace and other activities we partake in. 

Knowing how to discipline a difficult child isn’t something we’re naturally born to according to Alicia H. Clark – PsyD . No one actually teaches us these skills nor what to expect. Yet most parents have no choice with disciplining emotional and special children. 

Even the easiest kids can be difficult sometimes. 

We never know when those kids can throw a tantrum or a fit. And not knowing how to handle them can be frustrating at times. Parents may feel disheartened by their own parenting knowledge. 

Both children and parents will push their boundaries to learn how to overcome them. 

Our jobs as teachers and parents is to teach our kids where they stand and how to behave accordingly. 

This can be a serious problem when it affects a child under 10 because these problems are more likely to persist as they grow older – According to Ji Su Hong, MD, a mental health provider for children at Grace Hill Health Centers in St Louis.

Now, how do we get what we want in difficult times?

Stay Calm

Whether or not you’re communicating with any difficult personality and behaviours. Being in the moment itself it’s challenging. 

As a swimming coach myself. Handling over 100 students throughout the week is not an easy task. I wanted to put together a few guidelines I personally feel useful when dealing with different types of kids. 

Staying calm is one very important self-mastery traits. This can be self-taught over time”.

It took me several years to improve and it’s a constant journey of improvement. If you can’t avoid bad behaviour, you just have to face it calmly. 

Instead of using a high tone of voice, try using a quiet and softer tone of voice when speaking. Words that’s more neutral and positive. 

For instance, “Why don’t you stop crying and tell me what is it that you’re unhappy about” instead of commanding “Stop crying and tell me what’s wrong”. Aldo, in a criticism tone “The more you cry, the more I can’t hear you”

But then again, all that three-example said. If it’s being said in a different tone, it can sound calmly. Instead of “commanding” or “criticism”

Another good technique is to focus on their achievements. What they are good at, or can do, instead of can’t or don’t. 

Listen and understand 

Every last cell of our brain will go into default mode of freezing to avoid conflict. We’re all hard-wired that way. When facing a stressful or unsettling occurrence, our brain automatically switched to fight-flight-freeze. 

For example, you may yell at your child for pushing and hounding you for a toy that he or she sees at the mall while you’re busy on your phone (fight). Or your child avoids unfamiliar people or not joining other kids because they don’t feel comfortable (flight). Or, your child’s mind goes blank when you ask a question. (freeze). 

When someone acts unreasonably towards you, get clear on what you want and execute it flawlessly. Listen with a combination of intent to understand. With that said, it gives you the opportunity to end an interaction and achieve your goal.  

Let’s say you understood your child’s excitement of wanting that toy he or she saw. And you know, no matter how many times you tell your child to “hold on, mummy is on the phone”. Your child won’t listen and will keep hounding you until they get what they want. 

So, mummy stopped and listened to the child’s excitement therefore she could delineate her child to stop. 

Recognizing your child’s behaviour 

Recognising your child’s behaviour is an important aspect. And guiding them through with positive strategy will present the mindset for developing appropriate ways of behaving.

With your most positive and effective ways. It will help your child gain understanding and learn skills that will also help them manage their own behaviour. Harsh yelling and unreasonable discipline may lead them to act and think negatively

Not only the child may be physically harmed. But also, it can lead to detrimental effects on the child’s self-esteem, emotionally, and the feeling of sense of belonging. 

It is easier to decide which positive strategy you need that works effectively after recognizing your child’s behaviour. Yes, they can be different and weird, but be attentive especially to new behaviours so you may address them promptly and effectively.

Some common signs include:
  • Getting trouble in school
  • Refusing to go to school
  • Moodiness
  • Aggression
  • Short tempered
  • Clinginess
  • Fear of darkness or being alone.

Sense of belonging

Children developed a sense of belonging from birth. A relationship with family, friends, other adults and children. It’s the community that plays their role in building their identities. They sense and shape who they are by their characteristics, behaviour and understanding themselves. 

A sense of belonging is about a secure relationship with a special connection. It builds emotional strength and self-assuring. That creates an important foundation for their development. Showing respect, love and encouragement enables them to develop positivity. 

That positivity is a message about their families, culture and beliefs. With this positivity, it develops pride and confident for who they are. It is also important for them to be more vocal with their views and opinions. Making their own choices helps shape their knowledge.

Do The Opposite

When a child misbehaves, they often know what’s your response. You can do the unexpected when that happens. For example, when you see your child is playing rough or with something dangerous.

They would expect you to say. “STOP,” What are you doing?” Or “STOP playing with that, go to your room right now!”. However, you can try saying something like, “Boys, can I join ? that looks fun. But before you continue, I have something to say. Is it ok?” – Ask questions so they will stop for a couple of minutes. 

Explain to them the danger of what they are doing and tell them the consequences. That brings us back to a sense of belonging. It’s for them to make a choice of their own which also helps with shaping their knowledge. 


When calmness and providing choices have no impact. There won’t be any moments of reasoning. This is the time to use time-out. Impose a mild punishment or send your child to sit in a corner for a brief time. 

By doing this, it gives both, you and your child a chance to cool down before taking any action. We tend to speak harshly and make harsh decision when we’re angry. To avoid feeding your negativity with strength and power. Time-out helps calm your nerves and your child will understand not to use the same behaviour to get her ways. 


Very unlikely, your child will listen or do what you say. But if that happened, prepare that candy and snack. Usually, normal kids would resist when asking to do something. They won’t do it but not all resist all the time. It’s either they want something from you or they’re just in a good mood. 

One way to show your child you respect and acknowledge their assistance is by rewarding them.


Calmness is contagious. It’s a mastery one can learn and also an important life skill. Once it’s mastered, you can create calm in any situation given. On top of that, you will show your children how to stay calm. With a positive encouragement, difficult and challenging behaviours can be improved. 

Get support from family and friends. Discuss with professionals and therapists if there’s a need for it. Help them understand and encourage independence at the same time.

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About the author: Racheal Tan is the founder of RJ Global Swim Mobile. She is a full time Swimming Coach who teaches seven days a week. She is dedicated to her students and have taught 178 children since 2016. Ever since she quit the corporate world of Medical Sales. In pursuing her dreams and passion of teaching. Her goal is to Motive, Inspire and create Opportunities to make the world a better place. She’s also a certified Closer and a Copywriter from DanLok University

Published by globalswimmobile

Global Swim Mobile school is also known as Swim Mobile school. Established in 2016 with only 3 swimmers we have since grown to over 100 enrolled students. The term “Mobile” is we travel to you. Living in a condo / home with a swimming pool? Need a private Instructor with more privacy? That’s what we’re known for. This page is created not only as a business landing platform but also a platform to assist freelance swimming instructors, whether you are looking out for a full time or part time opportunity, you are most welcome to join our team. If you would like to recommend this opportunity to your friends, kindly send us a private message to our page admin and we will carefully consider your request. Want to know more information on how to be apart of our growing team? Please do not hesitate to contact us. Let’s have a chat to find what suits best for you!

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