Mother discussing problem behavior with child

Helping Your Child Overcome Problematic Behavior

It’s a natural part of growing up for our children to act on one or more occasions. During these outbursts, they may interrupt others, disobey the rules, and throw tantrums. When these occasions begin to occur frequently, or the problem behaviors become more serious, a deeper issue may be present. Speaking to your child’s mental health professional or their pediatrician is important at this time. It’s important that parents understand that meeting with a trained professional isn’t an indication that your child has a mental disorder, nor does it mean that you are under-performing as a parent. It just means that your situation requires a little outside guidance to find out what your child needs.

Every child is different, and their discipline and support needs to match their specific needs

How To Know If Your Child Is Exhibiting Problematic Behavior

It can occasionally be difficult to determine if your child is actually presenting with problematic behavior versus engaging in normal childhood behavior. There is a broad spectrum of reasons you might opt to seek professional help for your child. Following are a selection of a few of the most common warning signs that something more than normal behavior is happening:

  • Ineffective Discipline – If your attempts to discipline your child are falling on deaf ears, it may be time to consider a new approach. Child behavior experts are able to provide insight into what may work for your child.
  • Educational Interference – Problem behavior can result in children being removed from their classrooms or interfere in the completion of their homework. When this happens frequently, their education can be impacted, and professional help may be needed.
  • Social Impacts – Positive social interactions are a vital part of healthy development. If their behaviors are impacting their friendships or interfering with their friendships, getting help is necessary.
  • Developmentally inappropriate behavior – Temper tantrums are common in younger children, but if eight and 10-year-olds are throwing tantrums or hitting people, it’s a warning sign. These developmentally inappropriate behaviors require the assistance of a professional.
  • Criminal Behaviors – Vandalizing, arson, theft, and breaking and entering are all danger signs to watch out for. They aren’t just criminal in nature; they can also be indicators of issues requiring professional help.
  • Lack of Empathy – If your child appears to be ignorant or dismissive of others’ emotions, they are in need of professional help.

These are just a few instances to watch out for. Sexualized behavior, extreme non-compliance, animal cruelty, and aggression are others that bear mentioning.

Problem behaviors can often be reflective of unaddressed needs or concerns

How A Professional Can Help Your Child

The help of an expert in childhood behavior can help rule out mental health concerns or identify any that are present. Once they have identified the root of the problem, they can start helping your family work through the problem and find solutions that will help address the concerns. If you’re concerned that your child may be displaying problematic behavior, reach out to our clinic for a consultation today.

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Helene A. Miller / And Other Providers
Family Psychiatry and Therapy brings compassion, understanding, and skilled care to patients throughout New Jersey. Our team of mental health professionals focuses on providing a positive and uplifting experience that aids our patients in facing life’s toughest challenges.