top of page

How to Help Your Kids With Behavioural Issues

Updated: Nov 22, 2022

Suppose your child has been struggling with behaviour issues. In that case, it can become very

overwhelming for both you and your child to deal with them effectively. It can be very

frustrating for some parents to try to help correct their children's negative behaviours. Even

more challenging when they don't know where to start dealing with them.

To help your kids effectively with behavioural issues, you will need to have a basic understanding

of what causes them. You will also need to recognize the different problematic behaviours to

choose the most effective strategy to handle and diminish them.

If you are the parent of a child with behavioural issues and want to know how you help them and

get a better overall understanding of what they are experiencing, and continue reading.

What Are Child Behavior Issues?

It's common for children to be defiant with adults and argue with authority figures from time to

time. However, suppose those problematic behaviours begin to take over and become a constant

issue. In that case, it may point towards something more than child rebellion—a behaviour


Behaviour disorders can be challenging to deal with and potentially hold back a child from

learning and developing into normally functioning adults. They are characterized by problematic

behaviours that aren't normal for a child's age, grow worse with time, and continue occurring for

long periods of time.

Disruptive behaviour disorders are also sometimes referred to as externalizing disorders because they cause children to act out and display unwanted behaviours.

Common Child Behavior Disorders

The most commonly diagnosed behavioural disorders in children are attention deficit

hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder


The diagnosis of one of these behaviour disorders is a long process. It can be difficult because all

three disorders share similar symptoms. It's also possible for a child to have more than one

disorder at a time.

Alternative diagnoses that may display similar symptoms are mood disorders, emotional issues,

substance abuse, or trouble with family at home.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)

It's thought that about two to five per cent of children have ADHD. Boys are three times more

likely to have ADHD than girls. Here are some behaviours associated with ADHD:

● Trouble concentrating

● Forgetfulness

● Unable to complete tasks without moving on to something else

● Impulsive

● Talks over others

● Clumsiness and accident-prone

● Explosiveness and lashing out

● Fidgeting

● Restlessness

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

It's thought that out of all children under 12, about one in ten have an oppositional defiant

disorder (ODD). Boys are twice as likely as girls to have ODD. Expected behaviours are

seen in children with ODD include:

● Short-tempered and easily irritated

● Frequent meltdowns and temper tantrums

● Often argues with adults, more so ones with a significant presence in their lives, such as


● Rebellion and rule-breaking

● Purposely annoys and tries to get a rise out of others

● Low self-esteem

● Easily frustrated

● They put the blame on everyone else for everything

Conduct Disorder (CD)

Children who have conduct disorders are often labelled as bad kids due to their destructive

behaviours and tendencies to break the rules. It's thought that about five per cent of 10-year-olds have CD. Boys are four times more likely to have CD than girls are. Out of all the children with CD, about one-third of them also have ADHD.

Here are some common behaviours that are seen in children with CD:

● Refuses to listen to parents or authority figures

● Frequently breaks rules

● Repeated truancy

● Uses drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, at a very early age

● Has little to no empathy for others

● Hurting animals or other people

● Sadistic behaviours such as bullying and physical or sexual abuse

● Likes to initiate physical fights

● Using weapons in physical fights

● Constant lying

● Theft and robbery

● Pyromania

● Break and entering

● Vandalism

● Frequently runs away

● Suicidal tendencies (rare)

Treatment for Children's Bad Behaviors

Children may become dysfunctional adults later in life if their behavioural disorder goes

untreated. For the best outcomes, intervention should occur as early as possible. Not every child will receive the same treatment, depending on what disorder they have and what

contributes to it. However, most treatments typically include:

● Parental training and education

● Cognitive-behavioral therapy

● Family therapy

● Social skill development

● Support in areas needed

● Anger management

● Positive reward systems

● Medication

How to Manage Your Child's Behavior Disorder Symptoms

Alongside professional help through licensed behavioural therapists and prescribed medication,

encouraging healthy lifestyle habits can help reduce your child's intensity and frequency of

problematic behaviours. Here are some healthy behaviours to practice with your child:

● Physical activity; the more energy-burning and vigorous, the better

● A healthy diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein. Limit

sugar and processed foods, as they tend to make symptoms worsen

● Building strong and healthy bonds with family members and role models

● Maintaining a regular sleeping schedule and getting the recommended amount of sleep at


How to Prevent Bad Behaviors

It remains a mystery what causes the development of behaviour disorders. Both social and

biological factors are thought to play a role. What is known, however, is that children are more likely to develop a behaviour disorder if they get exposed to:

● Violence

● Criminal activity

● Maltreatment and abuse

● Harsh or inconsistent parenting

● Have parents with mental illness

● Have parents who abuse drugs or alcohol

While those are the factors that make children more likely to develop a complex behaviour

disorder, there are ways to reduce the risk.

Here are some things that can help reduce the risk:

● Parents practising positive parenting strategies

● Child maltreatment intervention and prevention

● Child Violence and abuse intervention and prevention

● Bullying prevention

● Seeking childcare of high quality

● Mental health awareness in adults (parents)

When to Seek Professional Help for Your Kid’s Behavior Issues

When a child is displaying behavioural issues, it's best to seek help from a professional if:

● Your child's symptoms are not only severe but go on for long periods of time

● Your child's behaviours aren't normal for their age

● Your child is in danger of hurting themselves or other people

● Your child doesn't seem to be making any positive progress

54 views0 comments


About the Author


Dr. Lennie Soo

Founder and Clinical Director of 360 Wellness Hub.

Book a Call

Are you feeling Stressed? Depressed? Anxious?

We are here for you.

Book a free 15 min consultation call.

bottom of page