Be actively involved in your child’s life. This is important for all parents, no matter what the living arrangements. Knowing how your child usually thinks, feels, and acts will help you to notice when things begin to change. Some changes are part of your child’s growing up, but others could be signs of trouble.
Set realistic limits and enforce them consistently. Be selective with your limits, by putting boundaries on the most important behaviors your child is engaged in. Make sure you and your child can “see” a limit clearly. As your child learns how limits work and what happens when he or she goes past those limits, he or she will trust you to be fair.
Create healthy ways for your child to express emotions. Much “acting out” stems from children not knowing how to handle their emotions. Feelings can be so intense that usual methods of expressing them don’t work. Encourage your child to express emotions in a healthy and positive way. Once these feelings are less powerful, talk to your child about how he or she feels and why.
Maintain positive relationships with your children.
A positive relationship gives your child a stable environment in which to grow, so that you are one of the people your child learns to depend on.