Ask any parent to share a story about their children’s behavior, and you are sure to get some pretty wild ones. Kids don’t always have the self-control we’d like for them to have. It can be hard to tell whether your child has a real problem, or was simply being a kid. You might just found your child painting with the contents of his diaper, or suddenly refusing to eat his favorite food, you probably don’t have to worry. If even your most seasoned mommy friends are scratching their heads though, it may be time to get your child evaluated.
If you’re uncertain of your children behavior, here are ten types of children’s behavior every parent should worry about. Read on:
1. Screen rage in children behavior
When we first cradled our newborn in our arms, we promised ourselves never to use a screen as a babysitter, and only to let them see the most educated of films. Unfortunately, even parents with the strongest of willpower sometimes crumble under the demands of a bored toddler.
This in itself isn’t a problem as long as there are strong limits to screen time—unless your child suffers from screen rage. If your child screams and throws things when screens are turned off, or attempts to steal other peoples devices to get a screen fix, they may be addicted. Talk to your pediatrician about any concerns you may have, as the problem generally won’t get better with age.
2. Bed wetting behavior
After potty training is complete, bed wetting is often a rare occurrence. If they suddenly start in an older child, however, there may be something serious behind it. Anything from bladder infections, to shock over the death of a loved one, can cause a child to start bed wetting. This is sometimes a difficult subject to broach with an older child, but it’s important to make sure there isn’t something physically or emotionally wrong causing the behavior.
3. Personality change in children behavior
If the child who can normally talk until your ears bleed suddenly clams up, this can be a big sign something is not right in her world. Whether it is bullying, other school pressures, or perhaps fear of a babysitter or daycare employee that is causing it, sudden changes in personality are something that should be looked into right away.
4. Suddenly not wanting to go to school
If your normally bright and attentive child suddenly puts on the brakes when it is time to get on the school bus, there may be a deeper reason than just the back to school blues. Hating school is a common sign of bullying, and despite zero tolerance policies in many districts, bullying can still be missed by teachers. It may even be the teacher who is causing problems. If your child suddenly hates school, it’s worth looking deeper into the situation to find out why.
5. Extreme lack of focus
Most kids aren’t great at focusing unless it is something they find important. For the most part, not staying on track cleaning their room or needing to be reminded 567 times to wash their hands after using the restroom is nothing to be concerned about. (At least, in terms of whether the behavior is normal or not.) Children who can’t stay focused in school, however, may need a bit of help to succeed in the classroom.
6. Children defiant behavior
Let’s face it, all kids will talk back at some point. Arguing their perspective is actually an important part of cognitive development, and while highly annoying, it isn’t something to be concerned about. When defiant behavior escalates, however, you may need to enlist help to give your child the best chance at a positive future.
If your child is skipping school, tantruming excessively any time his slightest whim isn’t realized, or even stealing or breaking the law, you may need to get your child evaluated by a professional. Your child may have Oppositional Defiant Disorder or a number of other issues causing the behavior.
It’s fairly normal for a children behavior to experiment with hitting themselves or holding their breath in order to punish you for your perceived crimes. Unless it is an effective method of controlling the parent, most kids quickly realize they are needlessly hurting themselves and stop.
In older children, intentionally causing themselves pain is extremely abnormal. If your child hits their head, cuts themselves, or pulls out hair, etc. it is time to see a pediatrician about the behavior as soon as possible.
8. Children repetitive behaviors
Lining up trucks in perfect rows for hours, walking or running in circles, hand flapping, and other repetitive past times can be a sign of autism or other mental health disorders. If you notice any of these signs in your child, get them screened right away, the earlier, the better.
9. Lack of responsibility
A child that never seems to finish their chores is normal, but not fixing it can spell huge problems for a child later in life. Kids who are not taught to be responsible may struggle to do well in school, drop out of college, or be unable to keep a job later in life.
More immediately, if parents do everything for their child instead of letting them try, it can actually cause developmental delay. It may be annoying to clean up the mess from your child’s first adventure getting her own milk, but stepping back a little is crucial to her growth and development.
10. Extremely manipulative children behaviors
Kids of all ages love to manipulate those around them. This could be as simple as fishing for whether or not they will get dessert if they eat that vegetable, to outright using parents against each other to get their way. Testing out manipulative tactics is normal, but they should never be rewarded. If these tactics seem to be getting out of hand, contacting a pediatrician for help with the situation may help make things easier for you.
Kids do a lot of things, many of them great, but some not so great. If you’re concerned about whether your kid is normal or not, relax. Most of the time, they are being normal. If they are not, these top ten types of children’s behavior should help you pinpoint when you need additional help.