If you are experiencing behavioral problems with your child, then you must realize the fact that you are not alone. Yes, parents across the planet deal with behavioral problems in their children almost every day. Therefore, the only way to handle your problem is to learn how to behave with a child who does not respond well to parental guidance.
Parenting is one of the most challenging jobs, and you have to be really good at it, otherwise, you won’t be able to raise a responsible, confident, honest, reliable and happy child. No matter how your child behaves with you or in public, you always have to reason with them in a thoughtful manner to bring the situation under control. And though you get frustrated at times while dealing with the anger and yelling of your child, parenting is unquestionably one of the most important and beautiful experiences that you’ll get.
That feeling when you see a smile on the face your child or when they hug you tightly as soon as you return home from work is hard to describe in words. Though it’s true that your child misbehaves sometimes, they also share a very close emotional bond with you.
So, before we start discussing behavioral and emotional problems in children, let’s throw some light on how exactly a child without such problems behaves.
A normal child is the one who knows how to behave with their parents properly and how to respect others’ feelings and perspectives while carrying out social interactions. In short, a normal child knows it very well how to behave with their own family members and other people at the same time. So, whether you talk about behaving properly in school, college, or functions like weddings, family get-togethers and birthday parties, children understand the normal and expected conduct patterns. They learn to meet all sorts of social, family and cultural expectations early, which makes it easier for them to achieve their goals and live a content life.
In other words, children without behavioral problems have relatively high social and intellectual development, which makes it easier for them to behave appropriately.
Here’s How Normal Children Behave
- They rarely behave rudely with their parents;
- They perform well in school and gain the respect of their teachers;
- They are usually punctual, they reach their school on time and get back home after school at the right time;
- They do their homework effectively and rarely disappoint their parents and teachers;
- They don’t deliberately hurt others’ feelings while interacting with them;
- They have high social awareness and self-awareness, which makes it possible for them to behave properly.
Now let’s talk about the signs and symptoms that indicate a child has behavioral and emotional problems.
Even if your child keep behaving in different ways, that doesn’t mean they have behavioral problems. They do get angry at times and they do feel frustrated when they do not get that much-needed attention. However, the real problem arises when your child’s behavior remains consistent. If they are unable to behave properly, even if you teach them certain things, then there most likely is an underlying problem.
- If your child is finding it hard to manage their emotions and conduct, it means they might be struggling with behavior problems;
- If your 10-years old child always feels like staying alone, and does not like playing with their friends, it could signal possible problems;
- A child that keeps on getting angry all the time and starts displaying destructive behavior frequently, like screaming at you, or on their friends might need help;
- If your teenage child is stealing money from your pocket, and spending his time alone in their room, then you need to figure out its cause.
Now if you are observing some of these symptoms in your child, you need to work towards improving their conditions. But before you do that, it’s important to have a look at some of the common behavioral and emotional problems in children, so that you can understand the exact issue with your child.
Anxiety is very common among people of all ages. It’s nothing but your body’s actual and natural response towards the problems that you face. Anxiety generally results from stress and it’s nothing but a feeling of fear towards certain situations, events and things.
For example, it’s quite normal if your child is scared of giving a speech in public for the first time, or get anxious while giving a job interview. However, if their anxiety level is too high and it continues for more than five to six months, then they really need professional help, as it could be an anxiety disorder. Yes, anxiety is normal but anxiety disorder is a mental disease that can create a lot of problems for your child. It is one of the most common emotional disorders that not only affect children but is found among people of all ages. The feelings of fear may cause symptoms like fast heart rate, restlessness, rapid breathing, and difficulty in concentrating and falling asleep.
The umbrella term anxiety disorders include conditions like panic disorder, social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety disorder. However, when you talk about children, they are only affected by social anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder and panic disorder.
And the worst part is that, if left untreated, an anxiety disorder can lead to further problems like alcohol dependency and drug abuse, which are again mental problems.
Depression is another common behavioral and emotional disorder that affects children. It’s again a mental disorder that keeps a person from concentrating on their daily activities. It is often characterized by feelings such as anger, sadness and loss of interests in everyday activities. In other words, a person suffering from depression loses interest in everyday activities, feels depressed most of the times, finds it difficult to fall asleep, feels worthless, and is unable to concentrate on their work. In worst cases, their feelings of fear often force them to commit suicide.
It is very important to understand that getting angry, and feeling sad at times is quite normal. However, if your child is showing these symptoms for more than a couple of months now, it means they are suffering from depression. Seeking right treatment is extremely important if you want your child to live a happy and healthy life.
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Another common mental disorder that is found in children is attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). Children struggling with this mental condition display hyperactive as well as impulsive behaviors. Again ADHD is found among people of all ages, which means it’s not only limited to children.
Some of the common signs of ADHD include having a problem in concentrating on work, getting distracted easily and showing impulsive behavior frequently.
Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
A wide range of children across the globe suffers from autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a mental condition which generally occurs in childhood. In simple terms, ASD is a neurological and developmental disorder and children struggling with it find it hard to learn new skills and interact with people.
Children suffering from this condition often avoid eye-contact, love playing alone, have very few friends, and display inappropriate facial expressions. Apart from that, they find it utterly difficult to understand others’ feeling and perspectives, which is why they can’t interact properly with them.
Children with language disorder find it truly very difficult to understand anything when people talk to them. In addition to that, they also find it a difficult to express themselves in front of others, and that causes a lot of frustration. Some of the common symptoms of language disorder found among children include difficulty in forming a sentence and finding it hard to give an answer to a question wherever asked.
In addition to that, eating disorder, gambling addiction and drug and alcohol addictions are other crucial behavioral disorders that are found largely among teenage children. And when your child struggles with any of these conditions, it doesn’t only affect them but you too face a lot of issues. People know a lot about mental conditions like drug addiction or alcohol abuse but their knowledge about other behavioral disorders is really limited.
According to Charter Harley Street (CHS), “The concept of behavioral addiction is less immediately obvious. Behavioral or ‘process’ addictions operate in very similar ways to substance addictions, and can be just as life destroying for the addicted person and their family members.”
Treatment for Behavioral & Emotional Disorders
Cognitive behavioral therapy, psychotherapy, and family therapy are the best ways to treat behavioral and emotional disorders. You should approach a good rehab center, wherein your child can take the help of skilled therapists and counsellors to treat their problem.
So far, cognitive behavioral therapy has shown amazing results when it comes to treating children with emotional and behavioral problems. So, whether your child is struggling with anxiety disorder or depression, they can recover quickly from their problem with cognitive behavioral therapy. It’s a treatment method for mental conditions, wherein therapists try to develop the coping skills in children. In short, Cognitive behavioral therapy makes is easier for a person to cope with all sorts of difficult situations that they face in their daily life.
About The Author:
Martin is a writer, student and pet lover. He loves butter chicken, and seeing his small pug, naughty Annie. When he isn’t writing, you can find him near Starbucks.