Children aren’t always as happy and chirpy as you’d want them to be. They have mood swings much like adults and will react to things negatively when they feel low or irritable. It’s only a natural part of growing up.
Your child may get grumpy about wearing his pyjamas to bed or keeping the phone down because screen time is over. They will retaliate in their own way every day and sometimes, things do get out of hand. But if this happens too frequently in the household, it’s a matter of concern.
It’s particularly harmful when these seemingly innocent tantrums turn into full-blown bad behaviour as the child grows up.
Children tend to develop behavioral disorders while growing up but they can be nipped in the bud by the parents. The treatment for child behavior problems begins at home with the mum and dad identifying innocent behaviours that are in fact harmful.
What Is Disruptive Behaviour Disorder (DBD) In Children?
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Disruptive Behavior Disorder or DBD are disorders in children and teens wherein they have trouble controlling their emotions and behaviour.
Issues may include being defiant and a strong conflict with authority figures. This may lead to aggressive reaction or destructive behaviour and the child could end up hurting himself or the people around him.
What Causes DBD?
In a 2013 study published in School Psychology International, DBDs are among the most common disorders seen in schools and child psychiatric clinics in Singapore.
There’s no particular reason as to what triggers DBD in children. However, children at an increased risk of DBD include those who’ve suffered abuse or neglect, were subjected to violence at a young age, or have a family history.
Different Types of DBD
Disruptive Behaviour Disorder can be further divided into three types:
Oppositional Defiant Disorder: This is when children or teens are irritable and angry most of the time. They refuse to obey their parents, peers, caregivers, or teachers.
Conduct Disorder: This may see the child act aggressively towards people or animals. These children also exhibit the signs of bullying other children and have the tendency to pick up fights and use weapons.
Intermittent Explosive Disorder: This is a more complex DBD and will see the child or teen have an aggressive outburst of violent behaviour. They have extreme temper tantrums and have extreme solutions to situations. They seldom think about the consequences of their actions that often gets them in trouble.
5 Child Behavior Problems And Their Treatment
The best treatment for child behavior problems is to identify and nip them at a young age. Here are five innocent behaviour issues that you need to be vary of from when your little one is growing up.
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1. When Your Child Is Lying
While it’s often cute to see your child cook up his own story about a situation, it’s not the best idea to encourage him to do so. Sure, the stories that he imagines will be interesting and you want to see the level his mind expands.
But this might also encourage your child to ignore the actual consequences of his actions. Some kids also like to lie and explore cause and effect with their stories.
Treatment: It’s important that you first understand the motive behind your child telling a lie. If he is embarrassed and is trying to get away from a mistake by lying, assure him that he will not be punished for telling the truth.
At the same time, if your child is lying to get something out of it, you should make it clear that you know he is lying. However, instead of reprimanding your child, understand why he wants it so much.
You can then reason with him on whether to purchase that thing or not. You should also make it a point to praise his honesty to encourage him to tell the truth. That’s a positive behaviour that needs reinforcement.
2. When Your Child Is Interrupting
It’s rude to interrupt and is not a good sign of patience in your child. This may slide at home where your munchkin is the centre of everyone’s attention. But this may not slide in a more open environment.
It’s important that you understand your child’s impulse behaviour and control it.
Treatment: Teach your child how to wait. In order to get your child to avoid interrupting in the future, have model conversations with your child.
Don’t interrupt them when they are speaking, and if you do, make sure to apologise and let them know it’s not a good thing to do. It’s also a good time to teach terms like “please” and “excuse me” to add to their vocabulary.
As for swearing, kids learn most of their initial words from the household and at times, this may include a few swear words. While hearing your little one curse may seem devilishly adorable, it’s not the ideal thing to do.
It’s also not a good sign for the child’s behaviour outside of the home when he interacts with other children of his own age.
Treatment: It’s crucial that if you find your little one mentioning a few swear words, you make sure that you do not make a big deal out of it. Instead of making words forbidden, try using alternatives and then let them say it out loud.
Yes, it sounds odd, but some experts suggest that making words forbidden only makes the child itch to say it again. Instead, making it a playful situation immediately gives you back control.
3. When Your Child Is Impatient
Kids are anything but patient, which usually turns out to be the root cause for most of their tantrums. However, it’s also the root cause for a number of other issues including impulsiveness, lack of self-discipline, patience to wait for a turn, and more.
Treatment: Experts suggest parents practice ‘patience-stretching’ with their children. The process requires parents to “almost” give in to the child’s demands. For instance, if your child wants to turn on the TV to watch something, you can always say “wait a minute” and get busy with something else before granting permission.
After a small break, you do allow him to watch TV. This helps the child learn about being patient and polite with the elders, while also learning that the process pays off in the end.
4. When Your Child Is Biting
Some kids lack impulse control and that’s why they end up biting or hitting another child. This is the start of aggressive behaviour that can go unchecked at a young age.
It also gets more difficult to seek treatment for child behavior problems that can later require a therapist and even medicines.
Treatment: The child needs to understand that hitting or biting someone can have consequences. Talk to your child about why it’s not okay to be physically aggressive when playing with his peers.
Games like Simon Says actually helps children to develop impulse control and patience to overcome aggressive behaviour.
5. When Your Child Won’t Stop, Even When Asked To
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While several adults are only understanding about consent now, the new generation needs to be taught this right from a young age. Kids need to be accepting when someone says ‘no’ or ‘stop’.
This is particularly an issue when kids are mean to their peers or won’t stop teasing their siblings. An innocent act can cause serious harm, if not corrected in time.
Treatment: If this happens in front of you, the first step is to interject and remove your child from the situation. This shouldn’t just be in your presence, but also when someone else asks them to stop.
You can teach this based on your own experience with them and you stop when they ask you to. Of course, this also depends on the context but it will help them understand personal boundaries.