5 Behavioral Issues in Kids You Shouldn’t Ignore

Disciplining kids is a major hurdle many parents face. Since little toddlers and preschool kids especially cannot handle their emotions and behaviour, it is extremely difficult to show them what’s right and wrong. Though many parents use hitting or yelling as the common tools to discipline, sehat.com psychiatrists say that these methods can make the child more aggressive and stubborn.

Parents must always be vigilant towards the child and must notice all kinds of behavioural and temperament changes that occur in them. Many parents brush off such issues as something silly or make fun of them. But if such things are not dealt with properly, they can turn huge and impact your child’s life in a negative way. Different kind of behaviour must be addressed immediately with the help of a child psychiatrist. Medication, counselling and regular follow up are the only ways to treat psychological issues. Here are six commonly noticed behavioural issues seen in kids.

1. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) – Children with ODD are experts at throwing tantrums. Everything angers them and nothing relaxes them. Arguing with adults, blaming everybody else for what he did, not obeying rules and intentionally annoying the others are a few changes observed in children with ODD. Such kind of conduct can affect the siblings and disrupt the harmony of a family. It is very tough to handle such behaviour and seeking the help of a psychiatrist is the best option.

2. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) – This order is seen in most of the kids but they outgrow the condition as the child gets older. Inability to concentrate, not finishing tasks on time or moving from one task to another without finishing the former, running around without taking a moment’s rest and being totally disorganised are the issues you must notice and address immediately. If left untreated, these disorders can grow into adolescence and make life worse.

3. Habitual disorders – Many habits during the babyhood might look cute but the same habits can be annoying once they turn into toddlers. Thumb sucking is one such thing. A lot of children suck their thumbs whenever they feel isolated or insecure. This habit can be a hindrance to growing teeth and talking. So is stuttering. Preschoolers especially do it just for fun but can make this a habit. When you find your kid stuttering while talking, correct him immediately. If there is no improvement, it is time to meet a speech specialist.

Biting nails, pulling hair, banging head to the wall or the floor, biting themselves or the person next to them, holding their breath for a long time and other behavioural habits must be curbed in the initial stages itself. Remember that prevention is always better than cure.

4. Anxiety – Though anxiety and separation from the caregiver is a part of normal development in kids, it can turn worse in some children. Going to school, travelling alone, being away from parents, sleeping alone in the bedroom and darkness can trigger anxiety in children. Sweating, crying for longer durations and not responding are often due to anxiety. This can be rectified by parents but in some cases, medical intervention is required to break the anxiety association.

5. Sleeping disorders – Sleeping is very important for the brain and major physical development in a child. As babies they sleep a lot but as they grow, many kids do not get enough sleep. Waking up frequently, sleeping during the day, sleeping very late in the night and not taking enough naps can have a negative impact on the child if they are not corrected. Sleep therapists and parents together must help the kid develop healthy sleep habits and get into a cycle.

Reviewed By:

Dr. Kaushal M. Bhavsar (MBBS, MD)

Assistant Professor in Pulmonary Medicine, GMERS Medical College, Ahmedabad