Do Your Kids Throw Tantrums Or Damage Your Property? Read This
When you think of having, adopting, or fostering children, you likely think of positive, fun experiences. And, while those things are definitely a part of parenthood or childcare in general, there can be an uglier side as well. For example, many children and teens will struggle, usually later in life, with their anger and emotions. This can sometimes lead to violent outbursts and destructive behavior. While this situation is sure to alarm you, don't panic. There are things you can and should do to deal with the child's behavior appropriately and to hopefully put an end to it before too long.
Prepare And Protect Your Home
At the first sign of destructive behavior, start preparing and protecting your home. After all, your home is permanent, but the child's behavior doesn't have to be! Fortunately, there are many things you can do to protect your home against damage. For example, you could invest in shatterproof glass windows. Not only will these protect your home, but they can protect the child against injury as well. Other options include securing fragile valuables or sentimental items, purchasing locks for areas where breakable items are contained and, if the child is young, investing in baby gates or other effective barriers.
Prospective foster parents may want to take these measures ahead of time, especially if they know they will be living with a child with anger issues. Even if you have no signs of trouble, it never hurts to protect the home. After all, any child can demonstrate a propensity toward violence.
Seek Professional Help And Guidance
Your home is important, but the child in your life is even more important. Thus, once you've secured your home, get help for the child. Typically, when children or teens behave in violent or destructive ways, it is because they are in pain. They could be suffering from a mental or personality disorder, such as Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Or, they might have trauma or other issues that need to be dealt with.
The best thing to do when children demonstrate this type of behavior is to seek out a counselor skilled in working with troubled children. They can provide the child with a safe space to vent their frustrations and fears and aid in healing. Furthermore, they can be a wonderful resource to you. Not only can they provide advice for dealing with the child, but they can point you toward sources of support that can help you in your personal journey as well.
Keep Your Cool, No Matter What
One thing you must understand is that children who act out with destructive behaviors are often seeking your attention. When you give in to their behavior by yelling or freaking out, this is giving the child attention. It may not be positive attention, but it is positive reinforcement, which makes it more likely that the child will repeat the behaviors again in the future.
As difficult as it may be, keep your cool when a child exhibits bad, destructive behavior. Do keep them from harming themselves or others. But, in general, stay as calm as possible, wait for the "storm" of bad behavior to pass, and then deal with it later, ideally with the help of a professional.
Handling a destructive child can be incredibly difficult. However, it can be done, and things can get better. The key is to take the right actions and seek the right help. If you can do these things, then there may just be a brighter future ahead for you and the child in your life.