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