Challenging Behaviour

What’s on this page?

Challenging behaviour is something all children experience

When it becomes consistent and disruptive it stops the child and others from making progress in their learning.

There is support we can offer when this happens

What can we do to support a child with challenging behaviour?

Feelings, thoughts and behaviours are all linked together. We feel what we feel as a result of thoughts and experiences, and perhaps the behaviour of others, but in turn these feelings will change our own thoughts and behaviour. Children are just the same.

Every child will present with some level of challenging behaviour at some point, pushing to see what the response is from someone else. It is part of learning boundaries and expectations. However for some children, their challenging behaviour can be more significant. It can begin to change their relationships with others, controlling what they can and can’t do.

It is important to see a child and their behaviour as two separate things. We can love the child, but not like their behaviour. Having this mindset sometimes helps us look more objectively at the causes of a child’s behaviour.

Practical things that help

Investigating when a child’s behaviour becomes challenging can give clues to triggers and reasons helping everyone to understand and consider support strategies that may help.

Behaviour @ Home Record Sheet

My Smile Chart – recording children’s behaviour

I feel …when …. chart

When anger and emotions are an issue

When a child becomes angry, it is important that they can regulate their emotions and manage them without it impacting others. Helping them to recognise the signs that they may become agitated or anxious, giving them skills or tools to calm these feelings before they escalate can really help a child’s behaviour. Here are some ways you can help your child recognise escalating feelings, and how to help them keep or become more calm again.

Feelings Thermometer

Behaviour awareness chart

Calming activities poster

Calm breathing cards

The exact way to support a child showing challenging behaviours will depend on the underlying reasons and the behaviours they show. If a more specific approach is needed, then please speak to us and we will find the best way to help you and your child together.

Many of the strategies and ideas mentioned on the ‘Emotions’ and ‘Sensory Processing’ pages could also be useful in supporting children showing challenging behaviours.