Child Behavior Development -
Is This Bad Behavior or Just Normal Child Development?

Child Behavior Development ...

... ... how can you determine if your child's behavior is part of normal child development or if it is something that you need to address immediately? In this article, I'll help you separate normal child behavior from that which is abnormal. At the bottom of this page is our forum where you can ask post questions about child behavior and development or give answers, support and encouragement to other parents.

First, let's acknowledge that there's no such thing as a perfect little angel and even if there were, kids, like us have moods and feelings, good days and bad. Even the most well-behaved child can throw a tantrum, become moody, over-sensitive or defiant.

Generally, there are two periods in a child's growing up years when this sort of behavior seems to be at the forefront: during the two-three year old range and adolescence. These are the times during childhood when the will and individuation emerge respectively and they can be a stressful time for children and parents.

Child Behavior Development

One way to determine if your child's behavior is maladaptive is to ask yourself if the way he acts is a constant source of annoyance to you and other members of your family. While a two year-old might throw more tantrums than a ten year old, he still won't throw them every day and usually, he will do so only when his wants or needs have been thwarted. A child can throw a tantrum and then ten minutes later, be happy and smiling.

child behavior development

Contrast this with a disorder called ODD (oppositional defiant disorder) which has the following characteristics:

Kids with ODD

  • lose their tempers easily and frequently
  • are easily annoyed and frustrated
  • show hostility and aggression to others
  • have no respect for authority: are bossy with everyone including adults
  • bully other kids, deliberately antagonize siblings, parents and peers
  • take no responsibility for their actions—instead, they blame others
  • are angry and have a chronic negative outlook

Child Behavior and Development

See the difference? Kids with ODD have persistent behaviors, while children with developmentally-based behaviors do not. With time and good parenting, these kids learn how to positively express needs and feeling and drop ineffective behaviors.

Kids with ODD have an adopted behavioral style. The good thing about this is that behavior can be changed. Understand though that since these kids are acting in ways that are irrational, there's no way to reason with them. If this and the list above describes your child, don't worry, instead take action. I recommend this program designed especially for kids with ODD. Developed by a therapist who has helped transform the lives of defiant kids for the past twenty years, it was recently adapted for home use. This program will teach your child how to handle frustration, face challenges and learn to get along with others. To find out more and download a free trial, click on help for defiant kids. There is also a similar program available for kids with ADHD. This is another highly effective program.

If you have questions about child development and behavior, feel free to post them on our forum using the form below.

Child Behavior & Development: is it bad behavior or just development?

Ask your questions about child behavior? Is your child acting out due to normal developmental factors or does his behavior require help. Post your question and ask the opinion of other parents.

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