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How do you deal with common behavioural problems

How to deal with common behavioural problems

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All children have their moments when it seems they’re just out to do the opposite of what you want them to. But what if challenging behaviour becomes the norm – how do you deal with common behavioural problems? From thumb sucking to aggression, behavioural problems in children can usually be put down to one of five things: psychosocial disorders, habit disorders, sleep problems, anxiety disorders and disruptive behaviour.

Psychosocial disorders

There are plenty of reasons why a child may suffer from a psychosocial disorder including things like parents separating, bereavement, illness, neglect or abuse. The results can manifest in behavioural problems as well as dropping behind at school or suffering from depression. Behavioural problems coming from this should be dealt with in a sympathetic manner where possible. If the bad behaviour is mild and infrequent then it might be best to let it pass without too much attention. This type of behavioural problem is generally a reaction to something that has happened. Getting to the root of the problem is half the battle and once the situation has calmed down or been resolved often behavioural problems begin to disappear.

Habit disorders

Most kids have a habit their parents would prefer they broke, whether it be sucking their thumb or biting their nails. Repetitive behaviour only really becomes a problem when it has a social, physical or emotional effect on the child. Things like head banging and biting should obviously be discouraged as they could result in the child being harmed. Other habits may not cause physical harm but could lead to buying at school. If you want to get your child out of a habit but don’t know where to start speak to your health visitor or doctor who should be able to point you in the right direction.

Sleep problems

Whether your child wakes frequently through the night or is excessively sleepy, sleep problems can be difficult to solve. As well as contributing to irritability and bags under parents’ eyes, sleeping problems can lead to poor concentration, behavioural problems and depression in children and teenagers. In infants and toddlers health visitors will be able to advise on adjusting sleeping patterns. In older children it’s important to identify where the issues are stemming from before trying to come up with a solution.

Anxiety disorders

It is estimated that around five to six percent of children will develop an anxiety disorder. If you think your child may be suffering from mental health issues then a visit to your doctor should see her being referred to a specialist. Most children go through phases where they can seem anxious, shy and scared of almost everything, but as long as it isn’t prolonged and they are generally able to go about their everyday lives, then there shouldn’t be anything to worry about.

Disruptive behaviour

How to deal with common behavioural problemsMeltdowns, tantrums and the odd bout of naughtiness are par for the course when you have kids but sometimes disruptive behaviour can become a real problem. In some situations, such as dealing with a toddler’s temper tantrum, the child’s behaviour is down to a lack of control or frustration at not being able to communicate effectively. In this case, try to avoid punishment. Instead leave the room (presuming your child is in a safe place) and wait for her to come to you. She may find that the intensity of her behaviour freaks her out a little and she needs a cuddle and some reassurance. On the other hand, an older child or teenager acting aggressively or causing destruction isn’t a regular developmental feature and should be addressed as soon as it becomes evident.





About Maria Brett

About Maria Brett

Maria is a freelance writer with over 10 years' experience producing content for a variety of publications and websites. When not working or looking after her two gorgeous sons, she can usually be found playing flugelhorn in a brass band, helping out at her local hospital radio station, shouting at the television while watching Formula 1, at the cinema or plonked on the couch with a cold glass of wine.

Website: Maria Brett

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