Disruptive or Aggressive Behavior in Children

Disruptive or Aggressive Behavior in Children and Teenagers

As adults we may sometimes feel disrespected, disregarded, devalued, or demoralized when defiance from a child or teenager happens. 

If we only think about defiance as a child or teenager “just doing what they want,” we may experience a power struggle.  If we change our perceptions to the belief that the defiant behaviors we are seeing could signal that there is something else wrong in the child’s life then we can begin to think about how we can help the youth.  Sometimes defiant behavior may signal or alert us that the child is lacking a consistent connection with a positive role model in their life. One of the biggest challenges in addressing these problem behaviors is managing our own feelings and reactions in response to the behaviors.

Focusing on the negative behaviors disrupts our bond with the child and develops frustration and possible psychological problems in both the adult and the child.

Dr. Josh Essery, a Clinical Professor in the Psychiatry Department at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio discusses student’s behavior based on https://livesinthebalance.org/.

Misbehaving factors:

  • Social Life Stress
  • Family life Conflict
  • Inconsistent Parenting
  • Environmental Pressures/Norms
  • Exposure to Aggression/Substance Use
  • Unrecognized developmental delays
  • Lack of Trust/Connection with a role model adult
  • Undiagnosed learning disorders
  • Brain Growth/Chemistry Changes
  • Cognitive or skill limitations
  • Unrecognized or undertreated psychological symptoms.

For more information about how to understand behavior problems in children visit Lives in the Balance


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