Counselling for Parenting Issues

One of the biggest and most common concerns that face parents is behavioral issues.  Sleep problems, temper tantrums, aggressive behavior and school problems can add stress to a family.   It is normal for children to be defiant and misbehave occasionally.  However, some children have extreme difficulty and challenging behaviors that are beyond the norm.

The most common behavioral disorders in children include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD); conduct disorder (CD) and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).  These often require treatment in the form of therapy, education and medication.

It is thought one in ten children under 12 years of age has oppositional defiant disorder.  Boys outnumber girls by two to one.  These children refuse to obey rules, annoy others, have low self-esteem, are angered easily, have low frustration thresholds and argue with adults. 

Conduct disorder affects about 5% of 10 year olds, with four times more boys than girls.  About one third of these children also have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Children with CD tend towards frequent lying, truancy, and lack of empathy, aggressiveness to people, cruelty to animals, physical and sexual abuse, criminal behavior, physical fights, tendency to run away from home, and suicidal tendencies. 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder affects nearly 5% of children with boys outnumbering girls three to one.  ADHD characteristics include inattention, impulsivity and overactivity.

It is important to remember that other stressors may be temporary in the child’s life.  A sick parent or bullying by other children may be a factor in a child’s changed behavior.  These factors have to be considered.

If your child is displaying any of these behaviors have him or her assessed.  Untreated children may grow into dysfunctional adults.  The earlier the intervention, the better the outcome will be. Treatment is available through your paediatrician and child psychologist.  It may include parental education, family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, anger management, and medications.

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