Managing Behavioural Problems in Adolescents


Parent-Child Relationship Problems | LoveToKnow

A parent-child relationship is one that nurtures the physical, emotional and social development of the child. This unique bond helps the child exhibit a positive social behaviour. The healthy involvement of parents in the day-to-day life of their children helps ensure that their children perform better socially and academically.

The qualities of a good parent include constantly expresses love and affection for their children, provides support, sets limits, being a good role model, teaches responsibility, communicates effectively, maintains a good relationship with the other parent.

Conflict strategies parents can use

When your child exhibits challenging behaviour or when he/she has made wrong choices, communicate with him/her clearly and calmly. Focus on the problem, talk to your child using effective and assertive communication.

Listen to your child: Put your phone down and make eye contact. Listening to your child is important and try not to downplay your child’s concerns. Keep to boundaries. Do not give in to bad behaviour. Make your child know your concern is for his/her safety and well-being now and in the future.

Determine underlying causes: Listen attentively to determine and address underlying causes. Look beyond the rebellious behaviour to the causes behind it. Ask questions to make him or her express his feelings, needs, concerns to get to the root of the problem. If appropriate give the child a chance to help solve the problem.

Assess your parenting style: Evaluate the impact of your lifestyle and parenting style in the life of your child. Pay attention to your own habits and approach to parenting in terms of discipline, guidance and meeting the unique needs of the child.

Model healthy conflict resolution: Offer sincere apology and seek forgiveness for genuine shortcomings. Do not apportion blame but decide on what should be done from now on in your relationship with your child. Do not try to make up for past mistakes by becoming overly permissive but set out in a new direction with your child.

Seek professional help: Get professional help if you need it.  When faced with a difficult or stressful relationship or behaviour you cannot handle on your own seek independent help. Seek the help of a mediator, counsellor or child psychologist.

Deliberate Parenting

Bullying Prevention and Interventions


Teenage Friendships | Healthy Families BC

What is Bullying?

Bullying is a serious problem in schools. It is the use of force, coercion, hurtful teasing or threat to abuse, aggressively dominate or intimidate someone perceived as vulnerable.

A bully is the person who is habitually cruel, insulting or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller or in some way vulnerable. It is systematically and chronically inflicting physical hurt and/or psychological distress on another. Bullying is a frightening experience many youth face everyday.

It can be as direct as hitting, threatening, destruction of property or forcing someone to do something against their will or as indirect as rumour, exclusion or manipulation. Bullying involves a real or perceived power imbalance between the person who bullies and the target youth who is bullied. The victims suffer depression, anxiety, increased feelings of sadness, loneliness and insecure.

Bullying is a significant problem and antisocial behaviour. The perpetrators have greater physical or social power than their victims and act aggressively towards them by verbal, physical or social means. Bullies tend to share common traits such as aggressive, dominant and slightly lower than average intelligence.

Bullying and its Effects

Bullying can impact the victim on physical, mental or emotional levels. Some of the effects include anxiety, fear, post traumatic stress disorder, lack of self-esteem, gastric issues, relationship issues and addiction to alcohol and drugs.

Bullying leads to problems academically and emotionally in addition to poor attendance and decreased academic performance. It causes feelings of helplessness, anger and frustration, mental, physical and emotional damage to all involved including bystanders. Research has shown the effects last well into adulthood. It occurs most often in areas where there is little or no adult supervision.

Teen bullying: spotting signs & helping | Raising Children Network

Preventive Interventions 

Adopt a whole school approach. Getting everyone involved. There should be a collective action to reduce bullying behaviour and respond to it appropriately.

Clearly communicate policy, protocols and quality standards for bullying behaviour to all staff, students and parents. Enforce the rules across the entire school and facilitate discussions that address the problem.

Look out for warning signs. Have a clear definition of bullying. Educate staff, students and parents on symptoms such as name calling, stalking, ignoring or excluding, prolonged staring, laughing cruelly, encouraging others to laugh or causing physical harm. Identify these gateway behaviour to mitigate the likelihood of them growing into something more problematic. Look out for warning signs for prevention, early intervention and reporting.

Intervene immediately and appropriately. Address the behaviour to ensure the person who is doing the bullying knows what is wrong and what the consequences are for engaging in the behaviour. If the behaviour continues the parents will need to be involved.

Increase active adult supervision in hot spots where bullying occurs. Once educators identify where bullying occurs at their institution, dedicate class time to teaching and empowering students in bullying awareness and impart skills in prevention, appropriate intervention and reporting.

Teach and reinforce positive behaviour and decision-making. Teach kindness, empathy and assertiveness to students. Teach children to be kind to others. Create opportunities for connection that foster a sense of community in the classroom. Reward positive behaviour. Reinforce good behaviour and it will give them clear expectations of what you want in a positive way. That way they will be more likely to engage in the positive behaviour again.

Have open communication with the students. Talk to them about their individual problems including bullying. Create a safe and supportive environment for mental health and well-being. Individual bullies and victims should receive independent counselling. Creating a safer and less hostile environment for students.

Parental Involvement

When parents are involved and work together with teachers, the biggest difference can be achieved. Cooperate with the school to implement corrective actions and deterrent measures.

Parents should instil healthy habits in their children. Instil anti bullying mindset in your child. This includes learning that being critical, judgmental, making hurtful jokes and spreading rumors are unhealthy and constitute bullying. Teach your child kindness. Teach your child early about responsible online behaviour. Be sure your child knows the best way to prevent bullying is to report it.

Provide your child tools for dealing with bullying such as walking away, telling the bully in a firm and confident voice to stop, ignore the bully, demonstrate that it does not bother them if other people point out their flaws demonstrating self confidence. Practice staying calm, not showing any feeling will discourage the bullying behaviour.

Teach your child to avoid places where bullies hang, stick with friends not socially isolated, know how to escape the situation, leave the place, if the bully is physical make a lot of noise to attract attention, know how to defuse the situation and get to safety.

Teach your child to speak up and report the bully to an adult. Wade in if your child is victim. Involve yourself firmly even without being asked until the safety and health of your child is assured.



Conflict Resolution Skills for Youth in Schools

Teenagers: Reading 1: Reading in class | Article | Onestopenglish

Teaching students to manage their own conflicts. They resolve conflicts on their own in a peaceful way, reduce incidents of violence and build healthy relationships.

Resolving conflicts without resorting to violence is symptomatic to a young person’s inability to handle confrontation. Being aware of the potential for conflicts, be able to identify a conflict situation and deal with it calmly and constructively.

Managing Conflict

Learning to manage conflict situations in constructive ways without attacking the other person, no name calling, yelling, hitting, accusing or threatening the other person. Avoiding clamming up because positive results can only be attained with two-way communication.

What is Conflict?

Conflict is part of life we cannot hide from it, we cannot wish it away or pretend that it is not happening. It occurs in families, friendships, schools, workplace, neighborhoods and the society in general.

It occurs when two or more people interact either as individuals or as part of a group. There is always potential for conflict in interactions.

Conflict can be defined as a serious disagreement, argument or tension. A clash between individuals who perceive a threat to their needs, interests or concerns. A clash of interest. An extended struggle, battle, fight or to disagree with someone over opposite opinions.

Causes of Conflicts

Causes of conflicts between students include disagreement between individuals or groups regarding ideas, interests, principles or values, limited resources, communication problems, rivalry between groups, a youth who is impolite to others (such as competing with fellow young people or insulting opinions of others), rude, mean, teasing, jealousy, physical aggression and bullying.

Conflict Management Styles

Conflict is a natural part of life and it can be resolved peacefully. Develop awareness of your own unique responses to conflict. The five conflict styles are avoiding – (avoiding or withdrawing from a conflict), accommodating – (giving in), competing – (standing your ground), compromising – ( both parties look for common ground when two sides give up some demands meet somewhere in the middle) and collaborating.

Using inappropriate conflict styles can create more problems. It is not healthy to suppress emotions or feelings like anger, frustration and leaving conflicts unresolved. Collaborating is a combination of being assertive and cooperative. Those working together with others to identify a solution that satisfies everyone’s concerns.

5 Ways to Resolve Conflicts on Your Own

1. Calm down. Control your emotions and behaviour. Cool off when angry or upset. Focus on the problem not the personalities. This will enable you appraise the situation objectively and deal with it constructively.

Communicate your feelings without threatening, frightening or placing blame. Be respectful. Respect differences.

Identify and name your emotions in order to regulate them and not escalate the conflict. Rather than acting instinctively on your emotions act in a constructive way. Name your emotions, angry, enraged, frustrated, sad, hopeless, empty, shocked, depressed, ashamed, worried, confused, guilty, lonely, jealous, nervous.

2. Listen carefully. Listen well to understand the perspectives and needs of the other person. Really listening to the other person and try to see the problem from their perspective.

Listen without interrupting. Listen and respond to the other person in a way that improves mutual understanding. Demonstrate concern, paraphrase to show understanding. Use non verbal cues which show understanding such as eye contact, leaning forward, nodding, brief verbal affirmations like “l see” “l know” “sure” “Thank you” or “l understand”.

3. Talk about it. Address the real issue. Focus on the issues. Ask what is the real source of the problem and deal with it directly. Understand the underlying needs, drives the behaviour that worries or challenges the other person. In many cases, challenging behaviour is the symptom of unmet needs. Something hidden but shapes our responses or reactions.

Use “I” statements rather than “you” statements

Using effective needs statements will empower and energize others see a situation and behaviour in new imaginative ways. Use “I” statements to let others know what you need. ‘I feel hurt when..’ instead of ‘you caused me to’..

Bringing your children

4. Brainstorm solutions. Search for options together to solve the problem. Choose a solution acceptable to all involved.

5. Take responsibility for your role in the conflict. Learn from it. Think of what you could have done differently and how you will handle the situation in future. Affirm, forgive or thank others.

Peer/Student Mediation

Peer/student mediators mediate between others. Student mediators work with their peers to resolve the disputes they cannot resolve themselves.

Conflict Resolution Activities

The activities to make conflict resolution learning fun. Role play, games, creative writing and stories.



Positive Behaviour Support to Youth in Detention Centers

Mediation & Conflict Resolution Masters (LLM) | University of Strathclyde

Conflict management skills by those who come in contact with young offenders and charged with managing the behaviour of youth in juvenile detention centers will help inmates learn alternatives to violent and self defeating behaviour.

Helping juvenile detention officers instill problem solving and socio-emotional skills to youth and improve their mental health. Delinquency and violence are symptoms of the inability to handle confrontation constructively.

Changing the institutional handling of conflict from a punitive focus to one that uses problem solving methods to supplement existing disciplinary policies and procedures.

Corrections Support

Teaching youth to effectively manage conflict and reduce violence.

Teaching them positive expression and problem solving skills to become behaviour of choice in pressured and stressful situations.

Providing bullying prevention and life skills training they were not taught at home.

Anger management techniques, effective communication and positive ways to manage whatever individual issues they are dealing with.

Learning problem solving and social skills to build positive relationships, have a sense of right and wrong, reduce incidents of disruptive and violent behaviours.

Learning to manage conflicts, resolve disputes and create peaceful environments.

Learning strategies that will help increase self-esteem, self-respect and self-control.

Conflict Resolution Strategies

5 Conflict management styles – Helping the youth develop awareness of their own unique responses to conflict. The 5 conflict management styles are avoiding (avoiding or withdrawing from a conflict), accommodating (giving in), competing (standing your ground), compromising (both parties look for common ground when two sides give up some demands to meet somewhere in the middle) and collaborating.

Learning that conflict is a natural part of life and that it can be resolved peacefully. You cannot get rid of or avoid the things or the people that enrage you nor can you change them but you can learn to control your reactions.

They learn that using inappropriate conflict styles can create more issues. It is not healthy to bottle up feelings like anger, frustration and leaving conflicts unresolved.

Collaborating is a combination of being assertive and cooperative. These are people who work together with others to identify a solution that satisfies everyone’s concerns.

Conflict Coaching

One-to-one support for a child to develop the skill at handling conflict or support the child work through a difficult situation he is dealing with.

This helps the child build skills needed to effectively manage conflicts. It enables the child improve the way he interacts with peers, family and friends.

Community activities for teenagers | Raising Children Network

Decreasing incidents of violence

Learning skills to decrease incidents of violence, bullying and harassment. Youth in custodial institutions learning to behave and treat others better creating safer environments and communities.

Custody Mediation: Best Interest of the Child Paramount


Family mediation Images, Royalty-free Stock Family mediation Photos & Pictures | Depositphotos

Parenting after Separation

Child custody mediation is a process whereby parents work together to develop an agreement for parenting their children after separation with the help of a neutral third party. It is a faster and cost-effective way to resolve a custody case.

According to an African adage, ‘when two elephants fight, it is the grass that suffers’. Meaning, when the large fight, it is the small who suffer or the weak get hurt in conflicts between the powerful. When parents argue or fight, it is the children that suffer the most.

Custody mediation enables divorcing or separating parents negotiate about future parenting arrangements for their children without the need to go to court.

Parenting Arrangements

The process helps them settle disputes involving child custody arrangements and reach an agreement focused on promoting the best interests of their children who are experiencing significant change brought about by the separation of their parents.

Parents are assisted to negotiate a mutually acceptable agreement that enables them develop their own parenting plan. Such that both parents will be involved in the lives of their children doing what is best for themselves and their children.

The parties determine the custody arrangements of which the most common are sole custody, joint custody, physical custody and legal custody and work out the custody and visitation schedules for their family. The mediator cannot impose a decision on them but help them cooperate to raise their children even though they are separated and no longer live together.

The Benefits of Family Mediation

Mediation works contrary to the adversarial system which increases trauma and escalates conflict detriment to the best interests of the children. The mediator works with both parents separately if they do not want to be in the same room together.

It is not estrangement or divorce in itself that inflicts psychological damage on children it is how it is handled. Parents can continue to love their children. They can continue to be actively involved in the lives of their children and cooperate to promote their well-being after separation.