Most children who are treated for disruptive behavior problems are school-age: They’ve been acting out in class, ignoring or defying teachers’ directions, or being too aggressive with other children. But in many cases these children have been exhibiting problematic behavior for years before they even start school. Signs that a preadolescent child might need help with learning how to better manage their impulses and regulate their emotions include:
- Maybe they’ve been having more—and more serious—tantrums than typical kids their age
- Maybe they’re extremely hard for exhausted and frustrated parents to manage
- Maybe they’ve been kicked out of school or excluded from extracurricular activities
- Their behavior may be disrupting family life and putting serious strain on other family members
- Conflict over behavior may be creating negative relationships with parents
- Parents might be concerned that they might hurt younger siblings
What kinds of therapy are effective for preadolescent age children?
At this age, therapy is directed at helping children with behavior issues that centers around the parents teaching them skills that will assist with shaping better behavior and develop emotional regulation, and reset the family relationships in a more positive way.
Mell La Valley – LMFT, CEGE has learned and developed techniques that are designed to treat behavioral problems that occur during preadolescent years while promoting positive family relationships. Its focus is on equipping parents with information and skills to increase their child’s confidence and self-sufficiency in managing difficult emotions, peer pressure, academic challenges,etc.