Does your child breakdown and have tantrums?

Is your child defiant?

Is your child hitting other kids at school?

These are some of the challenges that parents are having today with their children. Where does a parent go to get the support that they need in order to set their children up for success? It is very draining on us as parents to be dealing with our children who have challenging behaviors on a daily basis.

One resource that is being offered to help parents to manage difficult behavior is behavior coaching. Behavioral coaching focuses on supporting parents, teachers and children through strengthening relationships, meeting children's needs and setting them up for success by teaching them the skills they need to succeed. Many times children show difficulty in their behavior because their needs are not being met. They might be tired, hungry and wanting our attention. Sometimes difficult behavior may occur because they didn't learn a skill such as coping, boundaries or transitioning to another task.

Whatever the problem may be, a behavior coach will go into the environment and assess the situation. Together the parent and coach will talk about what the game plan is to achieve the task. I know these techniques work because I have used them on my children.

As a mom with Asperger and ADHD children I struggle with each of my boys' unique temperaments and I realize that I needed help to set my kids up for success. Many parents are worried that behavioral coaches are going to come into their home and teach them how to parent. The behavior coach is there to teach the parent techniques and provide role-playing to manage the difficult temperaments. Every temperament is different. The behavioral coach individualizes techniques that compliment each child's specific temperament needs.

It seems there are so many resources for children such as occupational, physical and speech therapy, and special education services, but nothing for the parent who has to deal with the difficult behavior day in and day out. If you are struggling with the tantrums and defiant behavior, please give behavior coaching a try. It got worse before it got better and I find that my parenting skills were so much better because of the way I was handling their temperament.

Teresa Welsh owns Independence Behavioral Coaching LLC, formed to help parents and teachers manage difficult behaviors in children. Reach her at (602) 531-0230 or

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