Parenting Styles and Proven Tools for Dealing with Child Misbehavior

This is the final installment in a four part series on effective parenting skills. The text of this article has been condensed for the purposes of this blog.

Encouraging progress, strengths, and skills, no matter how small

C. If your reaction to your child’s misbehavior is disappointment, hurt, or even disbelief, most likely you are dealing with his desire for revenge.

Avoid taking this behavior personally and read it instead as a message from a hurting child who needs your validation. Engaging in revenge-oriented misbehavior communicates that the child is discouraged and feels a lack of belonging, which prompts him to hurt you or someone else. The best survival strategy is not taking misbehavior personally, avoiding punishment and retaliation, and working on building trust. Knowing how to listen and reflect and not judge is another tool in the journey of teaching your child and correcting misbehavior. Model healthy and appropriate behavior by sharing your feelings, showing that you care, and encouraging the child. Finally, apologize and make amends if needed. By doing this, you will be modeling a positive strength to your child.

D. You find yourself doing your child’s tasks more often than not because she frequently seeks your help, and you doubt whether she is capable of accomplishing these tasks. You are probably dealing with your child’s feelings of inadequacy.

Your child may act helpless and display inadequacy because she concludes she has nothing valuable to offer her family or her peers. She feels incapable of accomplishing anything and her helplessness requires another’s support all the time. Is it possible your expectations are too high? You may need to lower them, make tasks easier, and provide the child with an opportunity to engage for as long as she needs in order to experience success. Be prepared to notice and encourage any progress, strengths, or skills no matter how small. Finally, show faith in her abilities and expect competence. Research shows that our positive and negative attitudes contribute directly to positive and negative outcomes.

Parents take on the most important job in the world the best they can; it requires wisdom, support, and a team and community effort to raise children in this fast-paced and demanding world.

Be patient and be positive!

Good luck!

If you are, or someone you know is, struggling with parenting contact us at Barrington Behavioral Health and Wellness. Phone: 888-261-2178 or email:

Dr. Vilija Ball, Psy.D., LCP

Dr. Ball works with adults of all ages, adolescents, children, families, and couples from diverse backgrounds and cultures, connecting with, and empowering them, to seek growth, meaning, and fulfillment in their lives.

Dr. Ball received her Doctoral Degree from Adler University in Chicago, Illinois where she obtained additional training in group psychotherapy.

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