All children and young people are different and react to life in different ways. At some stages, particularly pre-school and teenage years, children can find it hard to control emotions.
This is a normal part of their development as they learn to cope with life and realise they can’t have everything their own way.
Children also go through stages, as their brains develop and they try out different emotions and ways of reacting to the world. It’s normal for younger children to have fears (for example, of ghosts or monsters or dogs), as they become aware there are dangers in the wider world around them and they learn to distinguish between reality and fiction. Many children develop patterns of behaviour to comfort themselves if they feel anxious, such as thumb sucking or wanting to do the same things at the same time every day.
As they get towards puberty, children can become more defiant as they start to be independent and separate psychologically from parents and carers. And when the teen years begin, many young people become moody, angry or tearful and battles with parents can become a daily occurrence.
Personality plays a part too – some children are naturally more anxious than others, some express themselves physically or are very emotional while others are more reserved.
But if your child’s behaviour has changed recently, or you have started worrying about it and are not sure if what they are going through is normal or not, it’s worth thinking about the following:
There are no right answers, but these questions might help you think about what has been going on and whether it is normal for your child.
There are lots of things you can do yourself to help if you are worried about your child's behaviour.
- Talking-Children are often very aware of their own feelings but may not be able to express them. Talking with them can really help.
- Involving your child/young person-Trying to change the situation in partnership with your child, rather than a top-down approach, will give them some motivation to improve things themselves. Including them in decision-making will help them feel an important part of your family.
Behaviour too much for you or your family to deal with?
If you think the problems are getting too much for you to deal with on your own or as a family, ask for professional help. Your GP, Health Visitor, School/College can refer you to the right service. Your child's class teacher, or a school nurse or special needs co-ordinator (SENCO) can suggest what to do next.
In some cases, your GP or School may refer you or recommend you contact the Prevention and Early Help. This is a unit which offers advice, and signpost families to a wide range of support. You can also choose to access this service yourself. For many children and young people putting this support in place will meet their needs and they will not need to go beyond this stage of the pathway.
This maybe a referral to the Mental Health & Wellbeing, SCIL - Social Emotional & Mental Health, 0-25 SEND Inclusive Education Service, Educational Psychology Team or another specialist.
CAHMS can assess your child and talk to the whole family about how to help. Strategies can be suggested which can help your child learn to control their behaviour. It is also important to talk to your child’s school and keep them informed.
If you feel your health care worker or nursery/school SENCO disagrees with you, you can contact your local SEND Support Service and complete an Education Health Care Plan Assessment or a NHS Continuing Health Care referral form
A young person can request an assessment themselves if they’re aged 16 to 25.
A request can also be made by anyone else who thinks an assessment may be necessary, including doctors, health visitors, Social care, teachers, parents and family friends.
Useful Independent Support Services for parent/carers and young people to contact directly if you are worried about your child’s or your own behaviour and need help?
Reliable information for parents and carers about common mental health and behaviour concerns in children and young people aged 0-25.Find out about symptoms, possible causes and what you can do to help, with links to further information, resources and other organisations you can contact for support. Click here
Young Minds Parents Helpline
Can help you think things through, so call us if you want to talk to someone in confidence about your worries.
They offer free, confidential online and telephone support, including information and advice, to any adult worried about the emotional problems, behaviour or mental health of a child or young person up to the age of 25.
- Helpline open from 9.30 to 4.00pm, Mon- Fri. You can call or email us
- click here
- You can also visit Worried about your child?
- We support callers from all parts of the UK – England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland.
Young Minds Parent’s Survive Guide
Parenting isn’t always easy. Although it’s often amazing and rewarding to watch your children grow, and to help them learn to be independent, it can also be really hard work. click here
Behavioural problems and conduct disorder
Information for parents/carers about behavioural problems and conduct disorder published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Charity providing help and support in all aspects of family life-call email or chat online and talk through your child's behaviour problems.
Relate for Parents and Families
Chat free, online to a trained Relate consultant about problems in any area of your family life.
To find out more about a family support service called Preferred Futures about-Unleashing the strengths in families and individuals in order to make lasting changes-please see the leaflet within resources file at the bottom of this page.
Family Hubs 0-19 (Up to 25yrs SEND)
Every child needs the best start in life. Our children's centres are here to provide a range of help and support for you and your family. What services are available?
The early years offer is available to all families.
This offer includes:
- The Family Links antenatal programme: an 8 week course for pregnant women and their partners to prepare for the birth and parenthood
- Introduction to your children's centre with support for infant feeding
- Weaning advice
- Early language development session (6 months and 18 months of age)
- A development review at two-and-a-half years
- Help with access to a free early education place in the term after their child’s third birthday
- Free Book Start packs
- Access to information through the Families Information Service
- Parenting support
- Adult learning
- Get help, advice, have fun helping your children learn and meet other parents.
Bradford Barnardo's SENDIASS
The Bradford SENDIASS provides Information, Advice and Support around Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). Parents and carers of children and young people (0 – 25) with additional needs may access support from the service. Children and young people with additional needs aged 0 - 25 years themselves may also access support.
Parents Forum Bradford & Airedale
The forum is a group of parent and carers of children who have additional needs in the Bradford and Airedale district. The forum work to improve channels of communication between services, professionals and parents and carers.
Prevention and Early Help
Prevention and Early Help is the name we give to the way we support families and communities in Bradford. Prevention is about stopping problems emerging in the first place. Early Help is about preventing problems that are happening from getting worse. Bradford Council is making changes to the way that it provides Prevention and Early Help services across the district. We have listened carefully to feedback from two public consultations, and changed our plans after hearing what you had to say. These new plans have now been approved by the council and will come into effect in October 2018.
Would your child benefit from attending Nurture Group within their school? What is a nurture group? click here
Does your school have a Nurture support group? click here to find out more detail.