Behavioural Management & Parenting
At the Sydney Cognitive Development Centre we understand that many children have very difficult behaviour, that can be disruptive in both the home and school
environment. In the home environment, behaviour may not just affect the parents, but the entire family. Disruptive behaviour at school can isolate a child, having them stand out as different, resulting in significant punishment from the teacher, and even social isolation from their peers.
We offer several types of behaviour management at the SCDC. We treat children with a variety of behavioural issues stemming from disorders such as
ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder, along with other numerous other causes of behavioural issues. Of approach at the SCDC is multi-level. Depending on the age of the child, we will always try and involve the child in therapy. True behaviour change is best achieved through the child realising that their behaviours are unhelpful to themselves. For example, if a child is tantruming about being told they can’t do or have something, we have them consider whether this behaviour is more or less likely to achieve their goals. Having children begin to see a relationship between their behaviour and consequences is a first step in behaviour change, and empowers the child to produce better behaviour in order to try and achieve the outcomes they would prefer.
It is noted that for some children they go from 0 to 100 with no time to reason in-between. For these children we may trial some neurofeedback at the same time to try and create better emotional regulation so that the strategies we recommend can be utilised. For children with significant over-arousal and aggression sometimes strategies alone will not work and we need to down-regulate the over-arousal nervous system. Often when parents come to us with children they cannot reason with, this can be a good first step in getting behaviours back under control and creating a more peaceful household. Over time then children can be taught better emotional regulation strategies, and combining these two types of therapy can be highly beneficial.
At the SCDC we also offer parenting. We understand that it can be exhausting to have a child that refuses to do as you say, or throw tantrums to achieve what they want. The key to parenting is creating clear guidelines of behaviour, clear consequences and then maintain consistency in responding. We teach parents about why children act the way they do, and then teach them to manage their emotions in relation to their children’s responses. Often parents will ‘lose their cool’ when dealing with children who are angry and defiant. Obviously role modelling anger and shouting is not the most helpful way of trying to have child control their own anger and tantrums. We provide parents with strategies to approach their child calmly and more importantly to maintain their ‘inner-cobol’ in trying to have their child comply with instructions. We use humour and a variety of techniques to have children recognise their unhelpful behaviours in the moment, in a way that is fun and light-hearted, rather than angry and oppressive.
Parenting is not easy- there is no rule book, and no one techniques is going to work with every child. In our sessions we will discuss the issues and give you strategies to trial until we hit the ones which are most successful in your situation. We recognise the individuality of each child, differing patterns of cognitive skills and emotional intelligence, and adapt our sessions to find a unique solution for your specific situation.