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Your Child's Behaviour and Relationship Problems

By: Sarah Edwards - Updated: 17 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Children Behaviour Relationship Routine

The way that your children behave will change if you are experiencing relationship problems, and it is vital to recognise this early on so that measures can be put in place to help.

A dilemma

You should always make sure that your children are not being forced to choose one parent over another. This can be difficult sometimes, since one parent usually has primary custody.

Accept things will change

Be honest and open with your children, don’t overload them or over share all your emotions and feelings with them though, as this is a huge responsibility for a child to have to deal with. If there is an absent parent, try to keep on good terms - if only for the sake of your children. If you are tired and stressed, tell your children but don’t get angry. Just explain that you have a lot to do and need a bit of help from them.

Routine

Routine is key for single parent families, and will help you to manage any behavioural changes. Everyone can benefit from having a simple domestic routine to stick to and children respond particularly well to this. Quite apart from the fact that a routine is important to make sure everything gets done, routine can be a huge comfort to children especially if their parents have recently split up.

Simple approach

Simple things like having a family planner stuck to the kitchen cupboard door with a list of everything that has to happen each day, are a great way to keep on top of things. If you can stick to regular meal times and bed times as well then you will find life becomes a lot less stressful. During the school or working week, try really hard to stick to a routine that means homework gets done, school uniforms are washed and ironed and everyone gets to bed at a reasonable time. Then at the weekends you can afford to relax the rules a bit.

Rewards are good! Children can be praised and rewarded for helping around the house with small tasks that will make a big difference to a single parent’s work load. Keep a reward chart marked with stars or smiley faces and then at the end of each week add up all the stars and give your children a small treat. This will have a positive impact on their behaviour.

Enjoying life

If your children take part in regular activities, try really hard to keep them in the routine of going to their classes or groups. It’s important that children have structure in place and do things regularly that they enjoy.

Try to attend as many school events as possible. It’s really important for your child to be supported in this way, and to see that you want to see them take part in events with their friends and fellow pupils. Keep talking to the teachers. If your child has a home/school diary and you have had a particularly stressful weekend then put a note in the book to let the teacher know what has happened.

School is part of your routine, so to keep mornings as stress free as possible get organised the night before. This way, if you do have a child who is reluctant to go to school, you will have time and space to stay calm rather than rushing and getting stressed.

The absent parent

Children have a right to see both of their parents -if they want to- and it is important to remember this and do everything you can to try and help them as much as possible. This may not be an easy task for you, particularly if you do not get on well with your ex, however it is important to remember that whatever the reasons for you becoming a single parent, children cannot be blamed and must be allowed to see both parents.

Obviously in some cases, it may not be possible, safe or sensible for your child to see the absent parent. In these cases you will need to take detailed advice from professionals who can help you. If you have a regular access arrangement, this will help as you can include visits or overnight stays with the absent parent as part of your family routine and add all the details to the planner. If you can stick to the same days/times each week or month then you will all benefit as you can plan other activities around the times that the children are with their other parent.

Listen to your children. You may find that they behave differently after visiting the absent parent and you will need to find out why. Instead of interrogating them the minute they walk through the door, let them come to you, because they will!

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[Add a Comment]
Krista - Your Question:
Hi I have a 10 year old daughter who just doesnt seem to want to behave at home, I 've tried star charts, routine, taking toys and places we've planned away, spoken and asked what's going on, shouted and rewarded nothing seems to work at all. She's very controlling towards her 8 year old brother and if asked to do something or not she doesnt listen, everything that's put in place she just seems to ignore and doesn't care about any punishment please can you help as I'm a my wits end.

Our Response:
It's worth asking professionals near to you for help with this. Teaching staff at your daughter's school, your GP etc. There are also other resources where you can seek individual help such as the Family Lives helpline
KidsBehaviour - 19-Dec-17 @ 2:13 PM
Hi i have a 10 year old daughter who just doesnt seem to want to behave at home, I 've tried star charts, routine, taking toys and places we've planned away, spoken and asked what's going on, shouted and rewarded nothing seems to work at all. She's very controlling towards her 8 year old brother and if asked to do something or not she doesnt listen, everything that's put in place she just seems to ignore and doesn't care about any punishment please can you help as I'm a my wits end.
Krista - 17-Dec-17 @ 12:30 PM
My 5 year old grand daughterinterrupts conversations of groups of people that she doesn't know whether they be children or adults ., she tries to be part of their company. She let's them know what she knows as if she is boasting. When she is out playing with her 2 friends who are neighbourswe hear these children say that she is always complaining and is bossy. My daughter and husband have told her not to speak with people that she doesn't know but it doesn't make any difference. We would welcome advice .
Angie - 11-Jun-17 @ 4:15 PM
widget - Your Question:
My 8 yr old grandson is having toilet problems he keeps pooing his pants 2.3 even 4 times a day he's temperament has changed he gets very aggressive ,violent ,has no concentration. He used to talk to me and tell me if anything was upsetting him now nothing he's not the same child at all he's not aggressive or violent to me but to his mum and partner his behaviour problems started when he moved in after his mum n dad separated but then things went OK but just lately he had ocasional accident but now it's out of hand my daughter keeps punishing him by taking toys.tablet.pc games etc off him but it's not helping she recently found out shes pregnant I've advised her to try involving him more and pay him more attention because he could be feeling not wanted but she says she does.but when I was there the other day he had just come from school soiled and she sent him to bathroom to clean himself up angry get changed when he asked for help she wouldn't normally would she let me.I don't think she is giving him the attention he needs and she always puts partner first and if he tells grandson off he answets back she then tells gson off I'm so upset I don't know what I can do

Our Response:
Poor lad, it does sound as though he's anxious or not coping with something in his life be that at home or school (or a combination of both). It would be wise for his mother to take him to the GP though as it's not really normal for an 8 year old to soil himself several times a day. It could be an underlying medical issue, but even if it isn't, the GP might be able to make some suggestions or referrals for other kinds of help.
KidsBehaviour - 18-May-17 @ 10:15 AM
My 8 yr old grandson is havingtoilet problems he keeps pooing his pants 2.3 even 4 times a day he's temperamenthas changed he gets very aggressive ,violent ,has no concentration. He used to talk to me and tell me if anything was upsetting him now nothing he's not the same child at all he'snotaggressiveor violent to me but to his mum and partner his behaviour problems started when he moved in after his mum n dad separated but then things went OK but just lately he had ocasional accident but now it's out of hand my daughter keeps punishing him by taking toys .tablet.pc games etc off him but it's not helping she recently found out shes pregnant I've advised her to try involving him more and pay him more attention because he could be feeling not wanted but she says she does .but when I was there the other day he had just come from school soiled and she sent him to bathroom to clean himself up angry get changed when he asked for help she wouldn't normally would she let me . I don't think she is giving him the attention he needs and she always puts partner first and if he tells grandson off he answets back she then tells gson off I'm so upset I don't know what I can do
widget - 16-May-17 @ 10:23 PM
SJ - Your Question:
Hi I really need some advice I have a 2 year old who is so uncontrollably vicious for an example we went to a play group this morning and was playing with some cars with 2 other children and wouldn't share so another mum joined in and just said for her to share very nicely so my 2 year old just picked up a metal car and whacked it straight in her face making it bleed. I went down to her level and told her how bad that was in a razed voice and took her away from the play group because she was bad she then went in to her normal kicking, screaming and ripping my hair and biting me so I carried her out with a few scratches to my face. This is all the time she is just so angry and I don't know why! I try to be firm but gentle I don't think it's any reflection on me do I need to take her to the doctors or is this just the terrible 2's???

Our Response:
This does sound a little more excessive than the usual "terrible twos" - is she otherwise affectionate, well behaved etc? Even at two there are strategies that children can use to control their anger. Having a word with your GP certainly wouldn't do any harm.
KidsBehaviour - 22-Jan-16 @ 11:39 AM
Hi I really need some advice I have a 2 year old who is so uncontrollably vicious for an example we went to a play group this morning and was playing with some cars with 2 other children and wouldn't share so another mum joined in and just said for her to share very nicely so my 2 year old just picked up a metal car and whacked it straight in her face making it bleed. I went down to her level and told her how bad that was in a razed voice and took her away from the play group because she was bad she then went in to her normal kicking, screaming and ripping my hair and biting me so I carried her out with a few scratches to my face. This is all the time she is just so angry and I don't know why! I try to be firm but gentle I don't think it's any reflection on me do I need to take her to the doctors or is this just the terrible 2's???
SJ - 21-Jan-16 @ 11:48 AM
I can't cope with my 5 year old he kicks screams pinches bites at school and his younger brother(he's 2) iv tried talking to him removing him from the situation taking toys off him and even sent him bed early but nothing seems to faze him...I'm at the end of my tether now and losing patience...help
Tinkerbell - 11-Jan-16 @ 4:40 PM
I'm trying to look for help with my friends 8 year old too. The problem at 8 is they begin to be too big to hold back from hurting themselves or others. We have to train ourselves to bear the horrible things they say but when you have to protect siblings/yourself from their anger it becomes a whole different ball game, and we're looking for help here. What definitely has worked before is routine and letting the child know what to expect keeps them calmer. When a child, with an anger problem, becomes angry you must constantly weigh up what is ignorable behaviour and what must be addressed. Keeping things constant and black and white helps. E.g you are NEVER allowed to put your hands on someone else but swearing I might ignore. It's also important to have fun with your child on their terms. When there's an opening take the opportunity to do/play what they want to and then thank them for spending such a lovely half hour/afternoon with you.
LC - 30-Sep-15 @ 10:27 AM
My eight year old daughter has anger problems, she gets angry. Says horrible things hits out, I'm at the end of my wits end I've tried talking shouting ignoring help
Kelly - 23-Sep-15 @ 11:46 AM
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