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Child Behaviour


Advice for life


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Here at Greatvine we’re dedicated to helping you find the best advice, quickly and easily. From parenting and health to writing and business, great advice from the UK’s top experts is just a phone call away.

How do I bring out the

best in my child?

‘ There must be someone who can help...’

Becoming a parent is one of the most fulfilling and important roles in life. But that doesn’t mean it’s easy.

We like to think that parenting comes naturally to us, but the truth is that children don’t arrive with a manual – and we sometimes need a bit of help knowing how to bring out the best in them. At times we might need someone to talk to, to make sure we’re doing the right thing, to discuss our worries or just to get new ideas.

Every parent faces specific and unique challenges, whether their child’s usually well behaved but throws the odd tantrum, or seems to be out to challenge them at every turn.

That’s why this Greatvine booklet is jam-packed with invaluable advice and expert tips to help you create a happy family life, such as how to set rules and boundaries; dealing with meltdowns in public places; communicating well with your child and raising their self-esteem.

The specialists featured have many years of experience helping parents with the particular challenges of dealing with difficult behaviour. Ranging from experienced and respected child psychologists to top behaviour coaches, their gentle and supportive methods can really make a difference to your family.

In this edition

  • 4 Meet the child behaviour experts

  • 6 Expert Q&A with Dr Rudkin

  • 8 Top tips for better behaviour

Meet the

child behaviour


Talk with a top child behaviour specialist, whenever you need

Meet the child behaviour experts Talk with a top child behaviour specialist, whenever you need Elaine

Elaine Halligan

A parenting facilitator with The Parent Practice, Elaine’s passionate about helping families bring out the best in their children to help them have healthy self- esteem and value themselves for who they are. She knows that encouraging good behaviour and positive discipline are essential for a happy home and calm family. Her practical skills and strategies encourage co-operation and self-reliance, and ensure parents and children can communicate well. Elaine has a particular interest in special educational needs, as she has a son with autism and severe dyslexia. Her son’s behaviour


Advice for life

was so poor that he was asked to leave his third school. Since then, Elaine’s methods have had a transformational effect on his learning and self-esteem. Talk with Elaine on 0905 675 4616 - £1.20/min*. elaine-halligan

Meet the child behaviour experts Talk with a top child behaviour specialist, whenever you need Elaine

Dr Angharad


Angharad is a chartered clinical child psychologist with years of experience helping children and their parents. Particular areas of expertise include children suffering from stress; developmental disorders like autism or ADHD; mental health issues like depression, anxiety, or after a bereavement or trauma.

Angharad also helps families who are feeling stuck and need support, whether because of a loss, separation or divorce, or another big life change. She uses Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), and has also been trained in other therapies such as systemic therapy and solution-focused therapy. She’s contributed to BBC Radio and TV, and in newspapers & magazines.

Talk with Dr Angharad Rudkin

on 0906 400 6217 - £1.50/min*.

Meet the child behaviour experts Talk with a top child behaviour specialist, whenever you need Elaine

Jeni Hooper

Child psychologist and parent coach Jeni helps parents make sense of the different ages and stages of childhood. She loves to

explore how a child’s individual strengths and abilities can be supported and nurtured to help them achieve their true potential. Her areas of focus for parents include: building a strong, loving relationship with a child; how to overcome challenges and solve problems with confidence; guiding a child’s learning and behaviour from tot to teens; and creating a strong loving family. She can recommend strategies and techniques that give parents the tools to create lasting change. Jeni believes that becoming a confident parent who can cope with whatever comes their way isn’t about being perfect. But

confidence comes from believing in your ability to love your family - even when someone does something that makes that difficult. Talk with Jeni on 0906 207 2679 - £1.00 per/min*.

explore how a child’s individual strengths and abilities can be supported and nurtured to help them

Dr Philippa


As a paediatrician who specialises in child behaviour and development, Philippa’s role is to support parents to manage their children so that they can relax and enjoy family life. Many parents will have concerns about the behaviour of their babies and children as they are growing up and developing, and Philippa can help. Other areas of focus include bed-wetting, bullying, aggression, poor concentration and separation issues. Philippa is also a child bereavement counsellor for Cruse. She

regularly contributes to TV, radio, newspapers & magazines.

Talk with Philippa on 0906 400

6226 - £1.50 per/min*.

explore how a child’s individual strengths and abilities can be supported and nurtured to help them

Linda Blair

Author of ‘The Happy Child’ and ‘Straight Talking’, for over 30 years Linda has worked with families facing difficulties. A chartered clinical psychologist and researcher, her aim is to help parents overcome any behavioural and emotional problems their child might experience, including eating disorders, sleep disturbance, bedwetting and potty training, fears and phobias, bullying and depression. Linda’s study of child development means she can also explain what’s happening developmentally – in other words, how things look and feel from a child’s point of view. That way, parents can learn how to solve problems and give their child the best chance to fulfil their potential.

Because she’s learned how to help people of all ages, she can also help parents work through the anxieties and feelings of inadequacy they might feel when their child’s suffering. Arrange to talk with Linda at:

explore how a child’s individual strengths and abilities can be supported and nurtured to help them

Dr Sharon Lewis

Sharon aims to support parents so they can confidently deal with the emotional and behavioural difficulties their child might face. As a chartered clinical psychologist with 15 years’ experience helping children and families, she enjoys promoting positive attachments

between parents and children and sees this as a key way to promote children’s mental health. Sharon’s an expert in developmental disorders, clinical depression, autism and ADHD. Other specialities include children’s sleeping difficulties; emotional and behavioural difficulties; effective discipline strategies; building positive attachments in the family and communicating effectively with children. Talk with Dr Sharon Lewis on 0906 400 6239 - £1.50 per/min*. lewis

* from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 18+.

Choose from hundreds of great experts in over 80 topics, only at Greatvine.

Hundreds of parents have

turned to Dr Angharad Rudkin for advice on how to tackle their children’s behavioural problems. Here she answers your most frequently asked questions.

Expert Q & A

with Dr Rudkin

My child just seems badly behaved most of the time. How can I help them behave better?

When children know what’s expected of them and what the consequences of different behaviours are, they’re more likely to behave in the way we’d like.

So be consistent with your child – let them know what the boundaries are and keep these at the same place. If one night you order your child to bed and the next let them stay up until 2am, they’ll be confused about what you want. Be clear about what you want your child to do – don’t give them generalised messages like ‘Be a good boy’. Instead, spell it out. So, for example, ‘Play nicely’ or ‘Don’t hit others’. Another tip is to be confident when you’re setting boundaries – say what you mean and mean


Advice for life

what you say. Children are very good at picking up on feelings, and if you’re not confident about asking them to do something then they won’t be confident about doing it.

When my son decides to play up somewhere public like the supermarket, it can be really embarrassing. How can I discipline him when we’re out and about?

It can often feel like children deliberately have tantrums in the most public places, and this may well be true because of all the things that are going on around them. Also, remember that parents tend to feel tenser about their child’s behaviour when others are watching. Try negotiating with your child, offering them choices and consequences. One way of phrasing this might be ‘If you calm down we can stay in this shop,

but if you carry on screaming we’ll have to leave immediately. It’s your choice’. The key

but if you carry on screaming we’ll have to leave immediately. It’s your choice’. The key is to remain calm and try not to let yourself worry about what others are thinking. Remember that most onlookers will have been, or will be, in a similar situation at some point in their lives. If your child’s having a full-on tantrum then try and get them and yourself out of that situation and keep them safe until they calm down.

I can’t get my four-year-old daughter to do anything I ask unless I get cross. What’s the answer?

Your child’s pushing the boundaries to see at what point you’ll set clear expectations. If you only tend to do this when you’re feeling cross and frustrated, it’s more likely that they’ll push you to this point next time too. Try setting boundaries clearly and confidently when you’re not cross, then if your child starts pushing remain as calm as possible by taking deep breaths and imagining a relaxing place. They’ll keep trying to press your ‘angry buttons’ until they learn that there’s no point. So, if you can remain calm throughout,

you’ll be teaching them a valuable lesson (that you can’t get what you want by making people cross) and for yourself (that you can be a more effective parent by staying calm).

My six-year-old is frightened of all sorts of things. What can I do to help?

As they grow up and their awareness of the world increases, children develop fears of different things. If your child’s naturally quite fearful they’ll need an extra bit of reassurance and support. We all tend to avoid situations or things that make us feel frightened, but the more we avoid it the greater that fear becomes. So encourage your child to manage their anxiety rather than run away from it. You can do this by talking to them in a rational way about their fears. So, for example, say ‘Yes, spiders might not be very nice to look at but they won’t cause you any harm and they’re more scared of you than you are of them’. Or you could help your child write a project or create a scrapbook about the thing that frightens them – the more you know about something, the less scary it usually is.

Talk with Dr Rudkin

0906 400 6217

£1.50/min from a BT landline. Calls from other networks and mobiles may vary. 18+.

Top tips for



  • Be consistent -
    1 your child depends on you to provide clear boundaries and predictability, day in

day out. - Angharad Rudkin

  • Mean what you say
    2 and say what you mean - otherwise how can you expect your child to believe what you’re

saying? -Angharad Rudkin

  • Understand that children aren’t little
    3 adults - they think and see things differently to us. -Angharad Rudkin

  • 4 Model the kinds of behaviour you want to see in your children. This is a lot more effective than telling

them what they should be doing.

-Angharad Rudkin

  • 5 Pick your battles and enjoy your children. Children have a great sense of fun, so join in with this

and don’t worry about the small things. -Angharad Rudkin


Advice for life

  • 6 Praise their efforts and attitude, looking for the qualities they show rather than purely focusing on the

end result and achievement. For example, ‘You waited until I finished talking before you said what you wanted to say. That

was patient. It takes a lot of self-control to wait your turn.’

-Elaine Halligan

  • 7 Establish rules by working out your values in all areas of family life and stick to them – involve your

child in setting the rules.

-Elaine Halligan

  • 8 Make sure there are meaningful rewards for good behaviour. The best rewards needn’t cost

anything. -Elaine Halligan

  • 9 Encourage self- reliance skills from an early age. The more your child can do things for themselves and be in

charge of their own emotions, the less they’ll blame others for how they’re feeling. -Elaine Halligan

  • 10 Really listen to your child by encouraging them to talk about their

feelings and emotions. The key

is to listen without judgement.

-Elaine Halligan

  • Walk a while in your child’s shoes: get
    11 to know their strengths,

temperament and moods. This will give you ways to influence them and reduce conflict and confrontation. When they’re very little you can distract them with a favourite activity, and as they grow up you can use your knowledge to offer more ‘carrots’ than ‘sticks’. -Jeni Hooper

  • Be a parent first and a friend second. Parents
    12 have to be leaders and willing to be

  • 13 Aim to praise your child five times more often than you give directions. Offer

specific praise that shows you’ve

noticed and valued what your child’s done. Honest but positive feedback won’t create unrealistic self-belief, but telling your child they are brilliant at everything might. -Jeni Hooper

  • 14 Aim to give your child a magical childhood where life

is exciting and interesting. Discover the small things that excite your child and rouse their curiosity. Save the big things for an occasional treat to keep them special. -Jeni Hooper

unpopular in the short term over important issues. Set boundaries with four or five positively phrased rules such as ‘Be kind’ rather than ‘Don’t hit’. -Jeni Hooper

Find more great child behaviour tips

Next steps for

more advice

When you’re faced with the important role of bringing up a happy and confident child, it’s good to know where you can get good advice.

Greatvine lets you talk on the phone with the country’s best experts, whenever you need. Choose from leading specialists in over 80 topics covering all aspects of pregnancy, childbirth and parenting – from breastfeeding and baby sleep to postnatal depression and child nutrition.

The team includes child psychologists, midwives, breastfeeding specialists, paediatricians, practice nurses, parenting coaches, child nutritionists, counsellors and more.

With an average of five qualifications each the experts offer advice you can trust. Friendly and understanding, they’re here to help. Many also contribute to TV, radio and to leading magazines & newspapers.

Simply browse the experts’ profiles, choose a specialist and talk whenever you need.

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