Child behaviour can be a tricky thing. Parents can tell themselves that defiant or inappropriate behavior is just a phase that their child is going through, but often, it just gets worse with time. What can you do about these problems? How can you restore a sense of peace and order to your home without going off the deep end or resorting to drastic measures?

Many parents are at their breaking point when it comes to their children. Behaviour that was unacceptable and severely punished when we were kids, like being disrespectful to adults, seems to be a given with the kids of today. Although you may not like that your child treats you disrespectfully at times, you're probably more worried about how treating other adults outside the family in this way will affect the course of your child's life.

Of course in the scheme of child behaviour, being disrespectful occasionally isn't as bad as criminal behavior, illegal drug use, skipping school and the like. Obviously, these more deviant behaviors can be traced back to disrespect for authority, self loathing and disrespect for self. Since this is true, you can also see why even though disrespect can be common in children, behaviour like this should be addressed immediately, so it doesn't worsen and lead to other unsavory behaviors.

If the behavior in your home has already gone way beyond disrespect and outright defiance, then you need to take action quickly. This is because this type of behavior is not just a phase that your child is going through and can become much worse as time goes on. Eventually, the authorities may have to get involved. That's how serious this can become.

One way to address this child behaviour is with punishment or withdrawal of privileges, but this backfires with some kids and makes them even more defiant. The trick is learning how to set the limits without being harsh or punitive.

Another course of action is to take your child to a therapist. Therapy can be effective for some kids. Other kids will imply refuse to go, while some will go to the session, cross their arms, stare at the therapist and say absolutely nothing. Sometimes, a good therapist can draw them out. Still, it's important to realize that there are no guarantees with therapy and insurance does not cover all the costs. There are kids who have been in therapy for years and are still acting out, so understand that it is a process.

Rather than sending their children to therapy for chronically disrespectful or defiant behavior, many parents have chosen to learn how to use simple techniques at home that will help them teach their kids to curb aggressive impulses and make better choices. These child behaviour techniques are easy to learn and use because they are based on making measurable changes in behavior. You don't have to get inside your child's head, you don't tell him to change his attitude, but you do show him how to change his behavior.

The best thing about this method is rather than a therapist—a stranger—making progress with your child, you are doing this yourself. This automatically increases your child's respect for you because as he starts to see the changes in his behavior and how they improve his level of happiness and quality of life, he learns that you hold the secrets to creating a good life. This is a powerful parent-child dynamic.

As your child starts to make good choices, he will feel better about himself and will be inspired to make increasingly better choices. This is how the transformation of child behaviour occurs—one choice at a time.

A complete turnaround in children behaviour is possible at home without the intervention of a therapist and without the need to resort to drastic measures like teen boot camp. You just need to learn and practice some simple behavioral techniques and set the limits firmly, but lovingly.

Author's Bio: 

Laura Ramirez is an advocate of helping kids get their lives back on track with an at-home behavioural program like Total Transformation which was developed by a therapist who was once a troubled child himself.

She is also the award-winning author of the parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting which teaches parents how to raise kids to develop their strengths and lead fulfilling, productive lives.