How to Engage with Difficult Children


All children can be difficult at least at one stage in their childhood. Growing up can be difficult, with so many issues flying about, so who can blame them? I’m here to give some various strategies on how to engage with children who can be a little more temperamental than usual…

1. Allow them to express themselves

This can be done in various forms from them drawing how they are feeling on paper to acting/role-playing. It responds to their creative side and there’s no pressure on them to be right or wrong.

Also, it will give you a good insight into how they are feeling when they may not talk about it.

2. Humour

Humour is a brilliant way of gaining children’s respect and trust. It shows them that you are a normal, human being and are willing to be a little crazy sometimes. Tell jokes to each other, make up random words to songs on the radio and add in a little dance. Kids love this sort of stuff with adults.

3. Conversation

When a child has done something wrong, most people tend to dive in headfirst with “You’re naughty, you shouldn’t have done that!” This will instantly make the child feel like they have to defend themselves. I have found that it is better to ask a child why they have done something, and what they thought they would get out of it.

Discuss the situation calmly and you are more likely to get to the bottom of the situation rather than yelling at the kid.

4. Ignoring them

In some cases, it is best to ignore a child’s behavior. They are simply doing it to cause a disturbance in order to get attention. It is important to show the child that there are wrong and right ways of gaining someone’s attention. After a while, you will see that the child will calm down due to boredom.

Remember, the ultimate goal of parenting is to produce an adult who is capable of surviving on her own; applying parenting techniques that create the perfect child while making said child ill-suited for life as an adult is ultimately counterproductive. Raising a child is hard work and can frequently be stressful, but it is worth it both for the end result, and those precious moments each day—your child’s delighted smile, a whispered “I love you” as you tuck your child in for bed, your child’s laugh and the memory of her first steps—moments that are far too numerous to list in total.