Parenting Tips: Dealing With Behavior Problems Among Children

Behavioral problems are among the most common issues of parents with their children. Behavioral problems can manifest in their habits, due to psychological disorders, and can affect social relationships. Parents need to understand the reason for their childrens behavioral problems to help and encourage them.

Here are some common behavior issues that parents have to deal with:

Psychological disorders

Psychological disorders can lead to anxiety, depression, aggression, and may affect the childs mental performance. This can be a result of a traumatic experience like an abuse or injury. It could also be due to sudden family changes or problems like divorce, illness or death.

Children may not show their response right away to traumatic events especially if it would involve separation or divorce, death or an addition to the family. When changes like these happen, it is important to encourage them to share their feelings. Changes should be explained to them prior to the event.

Children from different age levels would respond to traumatic events differently. In younger children, it could manifest in their sleeping and eating habits. Teens and young adults would often show changes in their social relationships with their families, friends, and school performance.


Habits like thumb suckin, nail biting, hair pulling, hitting or biting themselves could be a response to situations where children may experience tension and pressure. To address these, parents should reinforce the childs positive development. Meanwhile, habits like thumb-sucking is better off ignored.

Sleeping issues

Every child seems to have undergone sleeping/night-time problems, like nightmares, enuresis or bed wetting. For instance, about 20% of five years old wet their bed. By the time they reached 10 years old, the percentage is just 5%. About 2-3% of children bedwetters, wet their bed due to medical conditions and problems.

Bed wetting could be a result of diseases, small bladder, food allergies, hormonal imbalances, sleep apnea, constipation, social changes and stress. Nightmare is another night-time issue. It is important to talk to children who are suffering from sleeping problems.

For bedwetters, make sure that they feel assured that bed wetting is normal. Never humiliate or physically punish them for wetting the blankets. There are different treatment methods that parents could use to help resolve bed wetting like alarms, use of medication, schedules and of course, encouragement.

Night terrors, nightmares, sleep walking and sleep talking are other sleep problems. You could start by having a calming bedtime routine to settle down the children, assure and settle their fears. If sleeping problems continue and disrupting the childs activities, then there are sleep specialists and doctors who can help you.

Eating problems

Children could be picky and they could end up not consuming the right amount of nutrition that they need. Eating problems could be refusing to eat, playing and not eating during meal time, and eating non-food items.

Children may refuse or dawdle when eating if they want attention, too pressured by the parents, eating time is not pleasant or they may be still full. It is important to plan their meals. For example, if they want to eat snack so close to lunch time, you could provide them small proportion of snacks which would still leave them interested to eat during lunch time. Make sure that there are no toys, television, and other disturbances during meal time.

Children could have eating disorders if they are dealing with complicated situations and emotions. Talk and reassure them. After all, they are still children, they are still confused with things and their feelings.

Another eating problem is when children eat non-food items. This disorder is called Pica. This disorder could be a result of nutritional deficiencies that target specific cravings, mental problems, parental neglect, or food deprivation.

It is normal for children to exhibit behavioral problems, since they are continuously learning and adjusting to their world. Changes, simple or drastic, could have a large impact on them that parents sometimes miss. Talking, encouragement, reassurance and professional help (if necessary) could help parents deal with these issues.

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