Behavioral issues are an inevitable part of raising children. Every child acts out now and then. Sometimes, however, misbehavior can be indicative of something more troubling. As any parent of a child with a behavioral disorder can attest, these conditions can turn raising a child into an overwhelming nightmare.
Behavioral disorders include a number of psychological conditions, such as attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder, oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder. While the specifics of these conditions differ significantly, all behavioral disorders share common symptoms that make them unique to other psychiatric issues. Notably, behavioral disorders involve deficits in a child's ability to maintain attention, follow the rules, and conform to social expectations. In early childhood, these conditions may manifest themselves as hyperactivity, impulsivity, and rebellious behavior. As children with these conditions reach adolescence, additional complications, such as drug use or even criminal behavior, may additionally be present.
Behavioral disorders have significant consequences for both the children who struggle with them and their parents. Children with behavioral disorders often find themselves in trouble at school, and may be ostracized by their peers as a result of their defiant and adversarial behavior. Parents of children with behavioral disorders may feel a sense of complete overwhelm, and be at a loss as to the proper action they should take to reign in this behavior. Additionally, they may feel a sense of shame surrounding their child's behavior, believing these disorders to be their fault. While bad parenting can certainly play a role in the development of bad behavior, behavioral disorders are unique in that they often originate independent of environmental factors.
While behavioral disorders may be an overwhelming and occasionally frightening experience for the child and those around them, there are fortunately many different treatment options available for those who are struggling.
Signs of Behavioral Disorders in Children
Behavioral disorders are typically identified by a wide variety of symptoms involving a child's conduct. It is worth getting your child if you notice any of these symptoms in them:
While some amount of misbehavior is normal in all children, excessive anger or rebelliousness may be indicative of a more serious condition. Children with behavioral disorders may face significant struggles. Social difficulties are common, as their behavior may make them unpopular with other children. Some may face expulsion from their schools, requiring enrollment in special schools better equipped to dealing with children who struggle with emotional and behavioral issues. Early identification and treatment is crucial to creating ideal outcomes for both the children and their parents.
While behavioral disorders may appear overwhelming to all parties involved, there are, fortunately, many treatment options for children who struggle with these conditions.
Therapy can help children better understand both their emotions and the feelings of others, helping to foster a better sense of empathy and greater respect for the boundaries of others.
Therapy can likewise help children get to the root of their anger issues, and learn techniques which will help them recognize triggers and better regulate their emotions. Occasionally, medication is necessary.
In conditions such as ADHD, medicine such as Ritalin and Adderall can help curb impulsivity, and enable children to focus better. Only a qualified professional can help you choose a course of treatment that is best for you and your child.
As a result of curbing impulsive, rebellious, and potentially antisocial behavior, behavioral therapy can help your child achieve more in school and become more effectively integrated in the social sphere. Many parents of children with behavioral disorders report great increases in cooperation and social give-and-take that is required for a child's healthy maturation.
Behavioral therapy can help a child think more empathetically, and teach them methods of coping with their emotions. Parents likewise often report a greater sense of control over their child's situation, and less worry about potential negative consequences that might arise as a result of their child's impulsive behavior.
If you believe your child might benefit from behavioral therapy, don't delay.
We at Overcomers Counseling are prepared to help you and your child overcome these struggles in a compassionate, shame-free environment.
If you're ready to help your child be the best they can be, send us an e-mail or give us a phone call. We look forward to helping you overcome. Call 719-345-2424.
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Overcomers' is a mental health care practice serving Colorado with multiple locations in Colorado Springs and Denver! We have a passion for people and being a part of their experience as they overcome challenges. What will you overcome? Book a therapy session with one of our counselors here.