My Child Has Behavioral Health Problems: How Can I Help?

Millions of children in the United States live with some form of a behavioral health problem, like impulsivity, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or anxiety – to name a few. However, what happens when you’re child’s one of them?

While sometimes professional help is needed, Andy Sweeney PsyD, a clinical psychologist for TriHealth’s School-Based Behavioral Health Services, says there’s one thing you can start doing now to help your child: Catch him or her being "good."

Praising Good Behavior: Why it Works

Andy says parents tend to give more attention to their child when they’re acting out. “When we give attention to any behavior in kids, that behavior can happen more and more,” he explains.

If your child does have a temper tantrum or whines, for example, Andy suggests ignoring this behavior, within reason. “Obviously you would never ignore behaviors that could be harmful to people or damage property,” he adds.

On the other hand, whenever you’re ignoring behavior you don’t want to see, Andy says to always be watching for an opportunity to praise good behavior.

In many cases, this at-home method will minimize defiant behavior; however, if you don’t see any improvement, you should seek additional help.

Tags: Wellness and Fitness

Last Updated: February 22, 2014