Understanding and Supporting Behaviour
Challenging or Distressed Behaviour
We often hear children’s behaviour described as being challenging. However, many people who work with children prefer to think of this as a child signalling their distress.
Distressed behaviour is different from the normal everyday behaviour of children.
It tends not to be a one-off. Distressed behaviour is a serious ongoing issue for parents and children. In fact, a child showing distressed behaviour demonstrates their distress through actions which are risky or harmful to themselves or others.
Distressed behaviour can take many forms, including:
- physical and verbal abuse
- refusal to stick to boundaries or rules
- self harm or injury
Subsequently, distressed behaviour can have serious consequences for you and your child, including:
- risks to themselves or others
- breakdown of relationships
- emotional and physical impacts
- Therefore impacts on enjoying life including school, friends and experiences.
Video: 30 minutes
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