Challenging Behaviors in Young Children

Behavior problems in young children can be caused by many different factors. Often children with behavior problems are smart, strong-willed, and stubborn. These are traits that can help your child be very successful as an adult, however also tend to make parenting more challenging in the meantime. For these children, their behaviors may be an attempt to get attention from adults or to get what they want (i.e. a new toy, stay up late, etc.). Common behavior problems of this type include:

  • Excessive tantrums
  • Aggression towards parents, other adults, or peers/siblings
  • Refusal to comply with simple requests (clean-up, get ready for bed, its time to go, etc.)
  • Bedtime refusal
  • Overall sassing and attitude with parents or other adults

These behaviors can then lead to power struggles between parents and kids, leaving parents feeling ineffective and emotionally drained.

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) is a behavioral therapy that offers proven strategies for making the parenting of children with these traits less stressful and more enjoyable for both parents and children.

Treatment

Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

PCIT is a quick and effective therapy that helps dramatically reduce the occurrence of oppositional, defiant, and aggressive behaviors in children ages 3-6 years old. PCIT is a unique therapy that utilizes in-the-moment coaching of parents with their child. This allows the therapist to see first hand the child’s difficult behaviors, and provide immediate support and guidance in how to effectively manage these behaviors.  As a result, parents learn and practice their new skills simultaneously in real life situations. Because parents’ interactions with their child offer the foundation for how the child interacts with others, PCIT also reduces the occurrence of problematic behaviors in other environments such as school.