What are examples of behavioural disorders?
Behavioural and Emotional Disorders are often difficult to understand when the child is constantly throwing tantrums and exhibiting uncontrolled outbursts of emotions. From a parental point of view it can be difficult to see if their child is really struggling with a disorder or if it is just part of early development. Such disorders can include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), learning disorders, and conduct disorders. A lot of kids struggling with anxiety, depression, or a personality disorder can also have significant behavioural problems.
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How do I know if my child has a behavioural disorder?
Parents often wonder if their child will simply grow out of that emotional or aggressive phase. However, the reality may be a little more complicated than that. If there is an underlying problem that may ultimately be diagnosed and/or treated, it should be addressed sooner rather than later. Behaviours that are consistently disruptive and cannot be altered easily that are more prevalent as the child grows may be just cause for seeking an intervention.
The question of “does ADHD causes behavioural issues?” is like asking which came first, the chicken or the egg? There can be components of the core symptoms of ADHD that lead to behavioural problems. The frustration that a child suffers with ADHD and the sensory issues that lead to an inability to properly understand and communicate with the environment around them can lead to outbursts and disrespectful, aggressive, and/or disruptive behaviours.
How to help their struggling child is the most stressful but important issue on a parent’s mind. To successfully treat a child with behavioural issues one needs to teach them (both from a psychology and physical sense) how to regulate their emotions and themselves. It almost becomes a new norm where the body and mind is able to calm down after arousal. Remember, it’s okay for a child to get excited. The key to emotional regulation is knowing how to successfully calm back down quickly and effectively before the behaviours become a problem.
After meeting many families that are affected by a child’s emotional dysregulation, there are some common elements that are prevalent. Most symptoms of behavioural problems present themselves in a child’s anger, aggression, frustration, and inappropriate emotional responses. These responses can be seen as blow-ups or tantrums which may or may not include physical escalation.
A lot of parents struggle with this question. “How do I deal with my child’s bad behaviour?” The answer to this very common question is not what most parents expect to hear. Engage in a dynamic shift in parenting itself! Do not blame or look at the child as the problem; rather, look at the environment and elements around the child that are affecting them. Then and only then look to treat the underlying causes for a child’s behavioural problems.
Getting a child to behave is a complex battle that many parents feel they are constantly losing. So like any structured battle strategy it must be multi-levelled, resilient, and dynamic. Structure, routine, reward, consistent calm parenting and a flexible training modality that gives the child tools to regulate their emotions on their own is the best approach to winning.
The key here is to understand that a parent should not seek to “fix” their child. The best approach is to help a child regulate, succeed, and learn to “fix” or rather deescalate themselves consistently when they become dysregulated. This kind of thinking helps to remove stigma and thoughts that “my child is broken and in need of repair”. After all, as a child grows into adulthood, a parent may not always be there to “fix” problems.
“I yell, I scream, I fight, and I punish. But my child’s behaviour is getting worse and worse.” These are words I heard over and over again. What is surprising to most parents is that it isn’t their child that is getting worse. What tends to fail is the approach the child takes to control their emotional states and volatility. Look to the environment around them. Imagine a cloud of thorns instigating and poking at your child, then work to remove those thorns. Intervene in a way that allows the child to learn the skills they need to behave in a calm, respectful, and controlled manner. Gaining a set of effective tools which the child can then utilize is the key.
You have been to a recent parent–teacher night and the teacher reports that your child is being “bad” and struggling in the classroom. The most common behavioural problems reported by teachers are those that involve aggression, anger, sudden emotional outbursts, frustration, and children giving up and not wanting to participate. However, labelling these struggling kids and even following a psycho-pharmacological intervention before truly understanding the reasons behind the negative behaviours may be unfair to the child.
It is okay to become emotional. It’s human, after all! Children struggling with emotional regulation lack the ability and training to understand why they feel what they feel and also how to manage those strong emotions. Effective regulation here is the ability to become calm and in control again quickly, effectively, and consistently after a child has become emotionally aroused.
“How can I help my child?” The sincerity and anguish that these words convey are of the utmost gravity. With the proper help the goal is to allow the struggling child to gain the tools so they can regulate their emotions on their own consistently and effectively. So I urge parents to have patience, have faith in your child, have faith in yourself and keep your wits about you.
It is never too early to learn the skills needed to regulate one’s emotions. Even in early childhood, one can learn the techniques and abilities required. The best part of this kind of neurological and biological feedback training is that the science does not discriminate over age. Furthermore, once the skills are learned, they are strengthened and made more consistent with daily use and practice.
Your child can go from a sweet angel to a fire-breathing monster within moments. Why? Understanding aggression in children can be incredibly frustrating. An inability to understand the environment and the child’s role in it or disconnect with the way they understand and respond to their environments appropriately is a major part of why children become aggressive.
It can be completely normal for a preschooler to become aggressive (it’s natural, especially when they are just understanding what a feeling, well, feels like); however, the way the child deals with the aggression or acts upon it is where training and parenting will help avoid unwanted, inappropriate, and negative behaviours. Perseverance and perhaps a shift in the parenting approach may be warranted.
Many parents feel that although their child can behave at home they are quite different at school. To understand what is truly happening here may need a more “whole”istic approach. A child’s frustration in the learning environment can lead to behavioural issues. Parents should look to ensure that the educational environment is specific enough and nurturing for their child’s unique needs. To understand their unique needs a parent may need to consider a Comprehensive Educational Assessment, after which a tailored therapeutic intervention and/or classroom recommendations can be made.
The Bayridge Kids Success Stories
What Parents Say About Us.
Children and Temper! It is difficult when your child reacts and gets mad. They do not know what to do with the big feelings inside them. Bayridge therapists are trained to connect and build a high trust relationship with children in order that they feel safe and understood. Therapists then strategically train children, using their brains natural neurological rerouting to manage BIG feelings!
Catching negative thought triggers is a significant strategy that therapists at Bayridge use to train children in emotional management.
Bayridge Kids are taught to monitor their heart rate variability through increased self-awareness and learn to turn the dial down when emotionally flooding.
Bayridge Kids has worked with children to increase attention, memory, behavioural control, and focus. This always includes collaboratively working with parents and often teachers.
We believe that in working with children we also must work with the parents. After all, there is no more important influence in their lives than their parent.
Children thrive in safe, secure environments. Separation, divorce, or change can trigger anxiety, depression, or acting out behaviours. It is critical for child development that all small ‘T’ trauma is effectively processed in their brain, memory, and emotions for no lingering effects.
Kids, Control, Chocolates and Cards
Your kid is a beautiful bundle of unpredictability. There are millions, if not billions, of genetic variabilities in the composition of your child. We cannot control what we get in a child. “Life is like a box of chocolates. You don’t know what you will get.” Your child is a gift on life’s adventure. Your child and you have been dealt cards. Your job is to play the hand you have been given.