Parenting children

How to Solve Stubborn and Disruptive Behavior – Part 2

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest

how to solve behavior problemsSo now that you've got a good idea of what  the first step in solving stubborn and disruptive behavior is, it's time to go to the second step: collecting information.

Get more details about what's going on.

In this step, you're trying to get more information on what's going on with your child. In order to do this, you need a broader picture: you need to know when, where,  and how often he acts out.

I'll admit this step is a bit of a pain of the neck initially, because it's not always easy to remember to write things down. But it is important, because it helps you pinpoint why your child is acting the way they are.

For example, not long after my daughter started first grade, the teacher told me that she was acting out in school. In this case I wasn't able to observe her behavior firsthand, but by carefully questioning the teacher I figured out that she was only misbehaving in the first period of class. You can read about how I solved it here.

So even though you may be tempted to skip this stage, don't. Instead, try these tips to help you do keep track efficiently and effectively:

Use these tips to help you keep track.


Symtrend is a good choice if you're trying to track a behavior that involves daily living skills (eating, bathing, getting dressed, etc.). It takes you step by step through the process of recording the behavior, and then uses charts to help you analyze why the behavior is occurring. Here are some screenshots:

Symtrend ADL 1 Symtrend ADL 2 Symtrend ADL 3

Symtrend ADL 4 Symtrend ADL 5

At $10.99, it's a relatively inexpensive app for kids with special needs. However be aware that there is a $10 six month subscription fee for the app. That's about the same as a fancy coffee and a pastry, though, and the app is good enough to justify the cost. The charts are a great way of helping you create a great behavior program for your child. The only problem is that this app is specifically for daily living skills issues, so it won't work for you if your child is acting out in a different area.

Behavior Tracker Pro, at $29.99, is a more expensive app, but it has more sophisticated features than Symtrend. It's not hard to use, but it does require some understanding in behavior modification in order to use it, since some (though not all) of the terms may seem a little odd. However if you spent a little time figuring it out, it might be worth it for you, since it goes through the whole process of behavior management. It also coordinates well with school behavior plans, since teachers and others who work with your child can enter there own data on their smartphones.

Here's a video for the iPhone; there is also an Android version:


You can also just try the old-fashioned way of writing things down, if you're a put off by tech. The best way to do this without losing all of your papers, is to keep a chart in each room of your house, taped in an obvious place. Tape a pen next to it, so you won't have to go looking for something to write with.

This way you can just jot down a brief note about what happened, putting everything together after a few days.

Questions? Comments? Love to hear from you below...

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInPin on Pinterest
You may also like
Parenting Children: 3 Tips on How to Create Rituals That Bring Your Family Together
The Myth of Punishment
  • Control behavior | Zukonline Feb 14,2012 at 2:39 am

    […] How to solve stubborn and out of control behavior – Part 2 […]

  • Rachel Feb 13,2012 at 7:01 pm

    I dare say that it’s easy enough for us parents to just “react” to a behavior too. That’s the beauty of working out a behavior plan: you can go from being reactive to proactive.

    As for kids, it’s true that many don’t have good skills when it comes to dealing with negative behavior. However, by being consistent, we can teach them how to work through a problem. We’ll get to that in a later post :).

  • Justin Mazza Feb 13,2012 at 3:46 pm

    Hi Rachel,
    Dealing with kids behavior is not always an easy thing to do. Unfortunately many do not have good skills when it comes to dealing with negative behavior. Most just react to the situation instead of using creative thinking to solve the problem.

Leave Your Comment

Your Comment*

Your Name*
Your Webpage