Behavior problems are one of the main reasons parents bring their children in for therapy/counseling. Things such as acting out, defiance, hitting, and other inappropriate behaviors can take a lot of a parent’s energy to correct. A primary consideration is looking at what the child is trying to accomplish with the problem behaviors. Assuming it is true that children basically want the approval of their parents, why would they behave in such a way as to cause problems with the parent? This can be a difficult question to answer.
Sometimes the behaviors are a result of bad daily routines that leave children overloaded and unable to cope with minimal stressors, resulting in inappropriate responses. Other times, it could be that the problem behaviors can be inadvertently reinforced by well-intentioned parents. Sometimes medications are necessary to help children function in appropriate ways, but many times if we can determine what is going on to cause and/or reinforce the behavior then we can help develop healthy behavior responses without the use of medications.