Children should break the rules sometimes. Boundary testing is how they learn about themselves and the world. The consequences you give them teach you important life lessons.
But sometimes behavior problems may be a sign of a more serious problem. When it comes to differentiating between behavior problems normal and abnormal , it is important to know a little about the child’s development. What is normal for a boy on preschool age it is not normal for a teenager.
Normal preschool behavior
While preschoolers seek independence, it is normal for them to argue and exercise their right to say «no.» She usually hesitates between asking to be an older child who can do everything on her own and using childish language to declare that they need help with a simple task.
Preschoolers may occasionally have tantrums, but should have more control over their emotions and impulses compared to when they were young children. Anything fit of anger at this stage it should be shorter and less intense than in younger years.
Children aged 4 and 5 may experience some minor aggression, but they should learn to use their words instead of violence. .
Normal behavior of school-age children
As elementary school children they take on more responsibilities, often wanting more freedom than they can handle. They will probably need good guidance when it comes to doing household chores, completing their chores, and taking care of their hygiene. As they begin to solve problems on their own and try new activities, they may have difficulty coping with failure.
In general, elementary students need a little help awkward emotions , such as frustration and anxiety, and it is common for them to have no verbal control of impulses.
Normal behavior of tweens
When children reach adolescence, their early independence is often reflected in their attitude toward their parents. It is normal for preadolescents to be slightly opposed and argued when they start trying to separate from their parents.
Friends can struggle with social skills and report frequent disagreements with their friends. They also tend to lack the ability to recognize the long-term consequences of their behavior. Tweens needs it positive attention to strengthen their good behavior in these awkward years.
Focus on learning your child’s life skills, such as washing dishes, and social skills, such as how to greet a new person. Find learning moments and turn your child’s mistakes into learning opportunities.
Normal behavior of adolescents
Teenagers to They often like to think of themselves as adults, but they still need help to make healthy choices. Be prepared to deal with a variety of phases that your teen may go through as you try to determine who they are as an individual. For example, it is common for teenagers to change social groups or try new hairstyles or clothing styles while trying to establish their identity.
Teenagers should have improved his self-discipline when it comes to doing your homework or doing your homework on time. I can still be quite grumpy and It is normal a slight lack of compliance and challenge .
Minor rebellion is also normal, as teenagers often want to show their parents that they can have control over their own lives. As long as your teen lives under your roof, it’s important to set clear rules and follow the consequences.
When to worry
These general warning signs may indicate more serious behavioral problems, especially compared to what is appropriate for development. If you are concerned about your child’s behavior, talk to your child’s doctor. They can help you determine if your child’s behavior is normal or if a referral is needed.
Difficulty managing emotions
Although it is normal for preschoolers to have tantrums occasional , older children must be able to deal with their feelings in a socially appropriate way. If your child can’t control their anger, frustration, or disappointment in an age-appropriate way, they may have a basic emotional problem.
Poor pulse control
Pulse control is it develops slowly over time. Children who become aggressive after school or children who scream at their teenage teacher probably need help to develop better skills.
It does not respond to discipline
It is normal for children to repeat their mistakes from time to time to see if their parents follow the discipline. But it is not normal for a child to exhibit the same behavior repeatedly with consistent discipline. If your child continues to exhibit the same inappropriate behavior, regardless of the consequences, it could be a problem like defiant opposition disorder .
Fights at school
Behavior that interferes with school is not something to be ignored. This deviation may indicate a underlying conduct disorder or a learning disability . Being kicked out of class, getting into recreational fights and having trouble concentrating on homework are possible warning signs.
Problems with social interactions
When behavior interferes with social interaction, this is a cause for concern. It’s normal for children to argue with their peers, but if your child’s behavior prevents them from having friends, that’s a problem. Children need to be able to develop and maintain healthy relationships with their peers.
Sexualized behaviors that are inappropriate for development are a warning sign, often of exposure to sexual trauma or abuse. It is normal for children to be curious about the opposite sex and to want to know where babies come from. But sexualized behavior it should never be coercive at any age.
Whenever someone (adult or child) is injured, they should be careful. Hitting the head, burning or cutting are behaviors that should be evaluated by one mental health professional . It is also important for a child to evaluate a professional if suicide is discussed.
If your child has suicidal thoughts, contact National Suicide Prevention Hotline to 1-800-273-8255 receive support and assistance from a trained counselor. If you or a loved one are in immediate danger, call 911.
For more mental health resources, see National helpline database .
A word from Verywell
Minor behavioral problems can often be addressed by changing the discipline strategy. Find ways to make discipline more effective. For example, if you punished your child for not doing his homework, try to offer a positive consequence that will motivate him to do his job. The worst behavior problems require professional help. Ask your doctor or school counselor for a recommendation.