Behaviour problems, also known as conduct disorders, refer to a group of behavioural and emotional problems in youngsters. According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), children with these problems have trouble following rules and behaving in a socially acceptable way. They can be aggressive, skip school, lie, vandalize property, and exhibit other behaviours that defy societal norms.
Behaviour problems can be categorized into two types: Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) and Conduct Disorder (CD). ODD is characterized by a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behaviour, or vindictiveness. CD involves violating societal norms and the rights of others, such as aggression toward people or animals, destruction of property, deceitfulness, or theft.
It's important to note that all children can exhibit these behaviours at times, but when it becomes severe and lasts for at least six months, it's classified as a behaviour problem.
Frequent, Persistent Behaviour Problems: Children have frequent temper tantrums, are easily frustrated, constantly defy authority figures, and are often argumentative.
Aggression: Your child is physically cruel to others, threatens people, or shows a pattern of bullying.
Violation of Rules: Your child regularly breaks rules, stays out past curfew, skips school, or engages in dangerous behaviour.
Property Destruction: Damaging or destroying property, either theirs or others.
Deceitfulness or Theft: Frequent lying or stealing.
Professional help is crucial to address behaviour problems. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is commonly used and helps children learn to manage their thoughts, emotions, and behaviours. Family therapy might also be beneficial in creating a healthier home environment.
Behavioral therapies are also an effective treatment for behaviour problems. These can include parent management training programs, school-based programs, or multi-systemic therapy, which works with the various aspects of a child's environment, such as home, school, and the neighbourhood.
If you're dealing with behaviour problems in your child, know that help is available. Our team of dedicated psychologists is here to help guide your child towards healthier behaviours. You're not alone in this journey, and it's never too late to seek help. Contact us today and take that first step towards a better future for your child.