Children misbehave. Anyone who has spent some time around children knows that some behavior problems are common. Some behavior problems in children can be simple, while others are more challenging.
Children are interacting with new situations every day. They’re learning how they feel when something new happens and how they should respond. Many common behavior problems, such as defiance, meltdowns, whining, and impulsive behavior, can be solved with consistent early intervention.
The challenge comes when behavior problems in children are more than a stage. Some behavior problems can mask underlying issues. The source of the problems can vary and can include emotional trauma or an undiagnosed medical condition.
Behavior Problems May Indicate Underlying Medical Concerns
When behavior problems mask a medical problem, it can be an undiagnosed disorder, such as ADHD. Or it could be a child feeling unwell, such as a fever or an injury.
- Difficulty sleeping can increase behavior problems in children. Sleep abnormalities in children with ADHD have a significantly negative influence on behavior.
- Children with seizures also display behavior problems and can experience an increased risk for children with unrecognized epilepsy.
- Children with learning disorders can act out because of feelings of frustration.
Behavior Problems May Indicate Underlying Emotional Concerns
Emotional trauma can also trigger behavior problems. When children learn how to react to significant life events, such as changing schools, parental divorce, or an ill family member, they can externalize their feelings.
- Children can display emotional problems, like anxiety, phobias, OCD, or depression, as behavior problems.
- Outbursts, extreme irritability, headaches, and drastic mood changes can be signs of mental illness in children.
- Moving can cause problematic behavior for both children who leave and the ones left behind. It can impact their social behaviors, academic performance, and moods.
Getting help from a professional can help children discover the source of behavior problems. When we know why a child is acting out, Comprehensive Consultation Psychological Services can help them find solutions.