How many of us really agree to the fact that the children are also small individuals and they do have the need to express their emotions periodically. Most of us, agree with this point, isn’t it? But the problem comes when the children don’t know how to express their emotions or when they feel that they are getting submerged under that huge wave of emotions. That’s when, we as adults label them as children with behavioral problems, rather than trying to understand what is really going on in their little minds. This blog discusses the common behavioral problems in children and also cautions at what time we as parents have to consult the experts for further guidance in resolving the behavioral problems in kids.
As most of you all know by now, that I have a highly energetic eight-year-old boy at home. He is a strong-willed boy with a very sensitive heart, which makes it a deadly combination. My usual style as a person is to raise my voice in anger and start shouting, but that doesn’t work with my child. There a lot more ways in which both of us differ from each other. But at the same time, we just can’t keep out of each other’s hair. We are so used to pulling and pricking each other till the time we get exhausted.
My child used to exhibit so many extremities from time to time. But those traits would go off within a short duration. But the lockdown period proved totally different. His behavior has become so erratic and I started to get worried as a parent. But, I was sure at that point in time, that those are some minor problems that would go as naturally as they came. One fine day, all of a sudden he started using bad words without any initiation from us. From where he picked up these words is also a question mark to us in the initial days. Later we realized that the culprits are the screens and gadgets. As a single child, under lockdown, the gadgets have become his best buddy sorts. As we were trying to minimize the screen addiction, there were other concerns like I mentioned above that kept occupying my mind. Only after attending my Kid’s Life Coaching workshops that I understood the basic causes for all these behavioral traits exhibited by my child.
Common Behavioral problems in children
Children are always naughty and trying to test the boundaries imposed by parents. So a few tantrums here and there, arguments, not paying attention to our words, or being defiant to us is quite common in kids. Even if they become a daily occurrence, we need not have to really become overly concerned as long as we understand the root causes of their outbursts like this. The following are few common behavioral traits exhibited by children at various ages.
Most of the children would start lying, once when they start articulating their feelings. At that time, they use mostly lies as their creative extensions of their stories. But as they start growing older, they resort to lies to either gain attention or to escape from a tricky situation. In most often cases, we can definitely see through their lies. Instead of calling it a lie at that point in time and taking him to task, just let that situation pass. Later we need to explain to him the consequences of lying and also we need to show the true role models.
The problem comes as a double-edged sword when the child catches us lying. We as adults use white lies to escape from tricky situations. So we need to be cautious and establish the pattern of not using white lies in front of our kids. Even if our child catches us, we need to accept our mistakes instead of brushing them off.
As stated earlier, this was the first problem we faced with my kid. We have a zero-tolerance towards the usage of abusive language in our house. I guess most of you also would agree with my point here. But still, kids do get exposed to these abusive words outside our houses. We need to make the kids understand the real meanings of those words and how to hurt the other people would feel when those words are used on them. Once they understand the real consequences, strict ground rules about this language have to be imposed and practiced at home by everyone.
All children struggle to focus from time to time, especially on the subjects that don’t interest them. We need to watch out and understand the root causes of their inattention. If they are not motivated as they are not interested in that area or subjects, try to increase their interests by sharing their childhood experiences. Narrate them the stories of inspiring leaders in different fields, so that they can understand the struggles one has to undergo before really making it big.
These days most of the children are not able to spend their energies fruitfully outside playing. So their pent-up energies are causing a lot of aggressive behavior issues in children. At times, the children are really doing it without meaning to hurt others as well. They might just want to pat or hug the people, but being physically strong, their simple acts might hurt others. Sometimes they do this aggression with negative feelings to hurt others, which results in bullying.
The only way, to stop this physical aggression is to have clear ground rules about the same at home. We need to talk to our children about the consequences of bullying and physical aggression right from their toddler age itself. O
Kids are the best negotiators in the world. If they fail to get what they want, they start acting out, start throwing temper tantrums. This is the most common behavioral issue found in all the kids. But as a parent, we need to establish few ground rules and make the child understand that a “NO means NO” at any cost. No amount of bargaining or manipulation would yield the result they want. Earlier, this was a big issue in our house, and my child used to resort to a lot of manipulation especially with his grandparents. Grandparents being the sweetest of all, would bend down to the kid’s demands.
After my child started attending the Montessori school, and we started applying those concepts at home. That resulted in a slow but positive outcome, as all of us started working as a big team now. So my kid knows at what time, he can expect what. Unless those conditions are fulfilled he wouldn’t be getting any intermediatory benefits.
How to tackle the Behaviroal Problems in Kids?
The behavioral problems in children can add to the stress of the entire family. The only way to avoid these issues is to adopt slow and positive parenting styles, which are consistent in nature. These parenting styles require a little more effort and time from us as parents. But this extra time spent by us would lead to a better and balanced relationship with our children. We can provide them a happy childhood due to this. The following are few simple steps that we practice as a family at home.
We need to have a schedule and structure in the house for everyone
Have the rule board at home in a visible corner
Work along with the child to make him understand various emotions
Use positive open ended praises not just empty praises
Work as a team/family, not as supervisors to the child
Discuss the consequences upfront, so that everyone is aware.
Recognize and appreciate the positive behavior.
When to consult an Expert?
Most of the common behavioral problems in children can be addressed by parents with love and attention. The problems like mentioned above are quite common in most of the children and they go off with time. But, if your child is not responding to your actions and his problems are disrupting his studies and social interactions, then it’s a cause of worry for parents. That is the right time also to consult a pediatrician to rule out any medical conditions or mental health issues. Based on the pediatrician’s suggestions we might have to consult a child psychologist or other expert for further evaluations.
Please share your experiences about handling the common behavioral issues in children? Would be eager to learn your parenting lessons as well.