Managing Difficult Behaviour

What is Difficult Behaviour?

One of the common complaints among parents is managing difficult behaviours such as tantrums and meltdowns. All children are disobedient and cranky sometimes, especially if they’re tired, upset or frustrated. Some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviours that are outside the norm for their age. A child with difficult or challenging behaviour behaves like this frequently, and the behaviour impacts on the child’s everyday functioning both at home and the school environment.

These problems can result from temporary stressors in the child’s life or current living environment, or they might represent more enduring disorders. The most common disruptive behaviour disorders include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. These disorders require intervention to support the child across the home and school environment. (ADHD).

What are the Indicators of Difficult Behaviour?

All children at different aspects of their development exhibit difficult and challenging behaviour. Red flags of possible difficult and challenging behaviour can occur across or within various aspects of a child’s functioning (psychomotor, speech, sensory, emotional, social) and generally involve: extreme behaviour in comparison to the same aged peers; prolonged issues (lasting weeks, months); issues across more than one context (school, home). Some typical behaviours include:

  • loses his temper
  • argues with adults
  • actively refuses to do what adults ask and disobeys rules
  • often deliberately annoys people
  • non-compliant with reasonable directives
  • often blames others for mistakes or challenging behaviour
  • is easily annoyed by others
  • is often nasty or unkind.

Intervention for Difficult Behaviour

Treatment is generally aimed to reduce the frequency and intensity of difficult and challenging behaviours across both the home and school environment.  Treatment for difficult behaviour or an underlying behavioural disorder such as ODD is often multi-faceted and can include:

  • Parent training and education
  • Social skills training
  • Anger management training
  • Cognitive Behavioural therapy
  • Family therapy
  • Medication


If your child is exhibiting difficult or challenging behaviours that are creating difficulties within the home or school environment and you would like more information or specific strategies to assist your child please give us a call on 07 3341 4619 to discuss how we can help your child.