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Child Behavior Disorders

All kids misbehave some times. And some may have temporary behavior problems due to stress. Behavior disorders are more serious. They involve a pattern of hostile, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors for more than 6 months. The behavior is also not appropriate for the child’s age.

Warning signs can include:

  • Harming or threatening themselves, other people or pets
  • Damaging or destroying property
  • Lying or stealing
  • Not doing well in school, skipping school
  • Early smoking, drinking or drug use
  • Early sexual activity
  • Frequent tantrums and arguments
  • Consistent hostility toward authority figures

If you see signs of a problem, ask for help. Poor choices can become habits. Kids who have behavior problems are at higher risk for school failure, mental health problems, and even suicide. Classes or family therapy may help parents learn to set and enforce limits. Talk therapy and behavior therapy for your child can also help.

Source: Medline Plus | Child Behavior Disorders, https://medlineplus.gov/childbehaviordisorders.html | MedlinePlus contains both copyrighted and non-copyrighted material. Health Topic summary pages are in the public domain.

For more on this topic, see CHC Expert Alexa Boubalos” article, “When Does Disruptive Behavior Merit a Mental Health Diagnosis?


To schedule an evaluation or to get advice about your child’s challenges, call or email a CHC Clinical Services Coordinator at 650.688.3625 or careteam@chconline.org

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