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Workshop When your child’s behaviour stresses you out


  • To build the confidence and ability to parent positively.
  • To use a firm and fair approach to parenting.
  • To understand the difference between discipline and punishment.

Background information

Sometimes other people may offer suggestions about what to do when a child is misbehaving, especially if it’s happening in public. Their advice can be helpful, and other times it can feel aggressive or unsympathetic.

Usually the latter will come from those with very little understanding about a young child’s development and behaviour, or what it’s like to be a full-time parent. It also doesn’t help a parent who’s already feeling stressed by their child’s behaviour.


Working in pairs:

  • Share some examples with each other about things that your kids do that really get you stressed, angry or upset.
  • Role-play a scenario where a child is ‘misbehaving’. Try various tactics to help the ‘child’ behave better.
  • Write an ‘I need help letter’ explaining one of your frustrating examples. For example, ‘Dear Dr Phil, My two-year-old won’t leave his baby sister alone — he wants to kiss her, pick her up and put his fingers her mouth. I can’t let him out of my sight when she’s around. What advice do you have?’

Mix the letters up, redistribute and have another pair answer the letter. Invite pairs to share their ideas with the group.

Lead a discussion with the group:

  • Is there agreement on how to manage different types of behaviour?
    • Why?
    • Why not?


SKIP resources

  • Whakatipu booklets: Te Kōhuri 2 and Te Kōhuri 3

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