All children have behaviours. That is life. Some of those behaviours are desirable and productive for those children and the people around them. Some of those behaviours are experimental – in other words they are trying them out for size and effectiveness.
What are labelled undesirable behaviours, or behavioural problems, are the ones that used to be experimental, did not work, but hung around anyway because their little brains forget to extinguish those behaviours. It is just like when someone forgets to take out the trash on dustbin day. I do not like to pathologise children unnecessarily because they are just little people trying to get along the best they can.
So we come to what you might like for your child. I guess you want to help them extinguish those unwanted behaviours and experiment with some new, desirable behaviours. While you may want the child to have specific desirable behaviours all those little people want is to have behaviours that give them rewards. If the new behaviour gives them rewards then they are happy to keep them.
So in therapy we always design new behaviours that will give the child an obvious reward, which is why I also see the parents at the same time, as I see the child, so the parents can learn how the child can learn. It is a system of good behaviours equal good rewards through positive reinforcement. It is called Token Economy.
As well as psychotherapy I also use hypnotherapy with behavioural problems in children because it accelerates the modification of the behavioural process. Those little brains are hungry for new thoughts and the job of me as therapist and you as parent or carer are to give them the opportunity to learn new, good thoughts. Children are great in hypnotherapy as they have such wonderful and active imaginations and really enjoy finding ways to be in control of themselves. There are no naughty children – just carers and children with opportunities.