Having Trouble Paying Attention or Being Overactive

Difficult child behaviors: overactivity What is it? Overactivity means that the child moves or talks more often than typical. Some of the activity might come from having a hard time paying attention. It might look like: Walking away in the middle of a game or activity Leaving the dinner table Making an off-topic comment in […]

Interrupting or Seeking Attention

Difficult child behaviors: interrupting What is it? Children interrupt each other and adults all the time. Talking in the middle of someone else’s story  Speaking out in class Saying a parent’s name repeatedly when they are on the phone  Children also seek attention in many ways. Sometimes they seek parents’ attention in positive ways: Giving a hug […]

Picking Fights or Provoking Others

Difficult child behaviors: What is it? This might look like taunting others with insults or trying to annoy or anger another person. Saying “I’m not touching you” with their fingers an inch from their sibling’s face Saying something mean to a child on the playground Hitting, punching, kicking, or hurting another person on purpose Where do […]

Destroying or Acting Careless with Others’ Things 

Difficult child behaviors: carelessness What is it? Sometimes children treat others’ things carelessly because they don’t know the rules about the object or get distracted while using it.  A child playing on a caregiver’s phone might drop it or touch it with sticky fingers  When borrowing a toy or object, a child might drop it […]


Difficult child behaviors: Screaming What is it? Screaming and being hard to calm is a sign that a child’s emotions get too big, too fast for them to handle. These behaviors are also called temper tantrums or melt-downs. They are hard on everybody, children and parents alike. Where do they get this from? Many parts […]

Acting Angry or Aggressive

Difficult child behaviors: aggression What is it? Aggression usually starts with an emotion like annoyance, frustration, or even fear. Children may be unable to control these emotions. When feelings boil up inside, they come out as Tense or angry face and body language Snappish or aggressive tone of voice Throwing things  Hitting, pushing, kicking, or […]

Disobeying or Acting Defiant

Difficult child behaviors: defiance What is it? Disobedience is doing what you are told NOT to do, or NOT doing what you are told to do. The child breaks a well-established rule of staying in bed once a parent turns out the light by getting up and playing with toys A parent tells their child […]

Having Trouble Behaving at Mealtimes

Difficult child behaviors: Mealtime troubles What is it? Mealtimes often bring families together. But children can have a tough time with rules around mealtime. Some ways children might have trouble behaving at mealtimes include Not coming to the table when asked Stalling with their food or playing with it Refusing to eat certain foods Eating […]

Dawdling, Lingering, or Stalling

Difficult child behaviors: Stalling, Delaying What is it? When children take a lot more time than you think they should take. When they have long moments of stillness after you ask them to do something. When they get easily side-tracked by siblings, toys, or just about anything. Where do they get this from? Children often […]