In General Knowledge for the Family, Physical & Mental Health

Child Behavior Checklist: What to Look For

When it comes to the behavior of your child, there are always going to be times where they backtalk, do not do what you ask them to do, and simply act out of line. This is just part of being a child. However, when these conditions are more severe, you are going to find that some of these behavioral conditions are more serious than you might think. Due to this, you need to know what the different behavioral problems are and look over the child behavior checklist. this way, you can determine if your child needs to go and see a specialist or if there is any other situation that might be causing their outbursts. 

|SEE ALSO: Positive Behavior Support|

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

You are going to start to see this develop in children once they hit the age of 10 or 12 (depending on your child). Children are going to naturally become more defiant, but this should not happen all the time. When it does, it is known as oppositional defiant disorder, or ODD. Generally speaking, this occurs more often in boys than it does in girls, but these child behavior problems can happen to both. You can go over a child behavior checklist to see if your child suffers from this particular issue. It includes cases where they are easily angered or irritated, have frequent temper tantrums and are more likely to argue with an adult, especially yourself or other individuals who are close with them. They are also going to refuse to obey most rules, have low self-esteem, become frustrated easily and blame others whenever something negative happens, regardless of what it is.

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder

This is one of the more commonly diagnosed conditions in children. Now, some parents start to place their children on medication when it becomes a severe issue, but there are alternatives to this. You can talk to a therapist for the situation and map out a game plan for how to work with your child and the child behavior disorders. The most common characteristics of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or ADHD, include inattention and the ability to concentrate on a single task, having a short fuse and proving impulsive, plus continually moving around and the inability to sit still. This becomes more apparent inside the classroom, as a child can struggle focusing on certain topics or sitting in a chair without talking to another student. It is important to talk about the situation with your child’s teacher and see exactly what is going on and what their observations are.

Wondering how to discipline a child with ADHD? Read here.

Conduct Disorder

CD for short, many children who are labeled as ‘bad kids’ often fall under this, simply because of their actions for breaking rules and their desire to almost always go against the wishes of an authority figure. Around five percent of children over the age of 10 are likely to start fights with others, start fires, steal, break into houses and even be aggressive to animals. They also have an almost complete lack of feeling to others they hurt. All of these can lead to rather serious conditions and is something you need to look out for. If you notice any of these tendencies, you need to discuss the situation with not only your child’s teacher but also the school counselor in order to develop a course of action for what is going on.

What Are the Risk Factors?

There are different risk factors at play when it comes to the development of these particular conditions. While some children are just more prone to these kinds of outbursts and inability to focus, there are generally some situational issues that play a huge role in the evolution of the disorder. For starters, boys are far more likely to suffer from ODD, ADHD and CD. There really is no reasoning or genetic link between this and why boys are more likely to have them, although it might have something to do with their upraising and the kind of attention boys and girls receive. Beyond gender, there are birth problems that can lead to a child’s mental ability not developing as quickly or at least differently from normal. Premature births and low birth weights are often linked to these behavior problems. The family life can play a very large role in how a child develops and the creation of these particular conditions. A child is more likely to display these conditions of behavior problems in a dysfunctional family than in one that communicates properly and has exceptional interactions with one another. Domestic violence, parental substance abuse, poverty and other conditions and situations can ultimately lead to the development of these child behavior disorders. Lastly, learning difficulties and brain development both have an impact on how a child develops and the creation of these behavior issues. The area of the brain that treats control is going to be less active in a child with ADHD, which can cause learning difficulties, problems with writing, math and other situations in school.

If you believe your child is suffering from one (or multiple) problems, you need to have it properly diagnosed. Now, this does not mean you need to hop them up on medications instantly. Instead, it simply is going to clearly outline the problem and you can then develop a way to handle the situation. The best way to have your child diagnosed is to take them into a psychologist, child psychiatrist or a pediatrician. A child doctor is able to diagnose the condition, although when it comes to treating them, you are going to be better off going to some sort of a therapist. When you visit such a medical professional it is going to consist of interviews with not only you but your child and even the teachers, as they can provide insight into the situation that you simply are not able to provide. The therapist is going to go through a youth self report and determine what exactly is causing the problem and what you can do about it.


Now, there are different forms of treatment, and while medication is available, it is not the only option (many parents do not want to medicate their children until there truly is no other option and it is the only way to keep them in school). First, you need to educate yourself on how to manage your child. You might not be providing them with the right outlet or enough ways to stay active. Sporting activities and other elements your child might like are very important to take advantage of. It simply comes down to knowing the condition and how to better prepare for it. Family therapy sessions can help as you, your child, and the rest of the family can work through problems together. You might not all be in the same room together, but it is nice to have this talking point. Anger management is also helpful if your child has the tendency of outbreaks and acting out. Here, they can learn how to deal with their anger and you can discover what makes them tick. This can help reduce aggressive behavior and point your entire family in the right direction. Lastly, you need to provide encouragement. One of the reasons children continually act out, especially those who suffer from these child behavior problems, is because they are always being disciplined and just never receive praise because, as they believe it, they are always doing something wrong. By encouraging your child and by making sure they know when they do something good, it can help them out drastically and improve their overall behavior.

If you believe your child is suffering from a current behavior condition, it is important for you to seek out proper diagnosis from professionals. You can start by using your own youth self report checklist and see if you notice a pattern. If you do, you can then investigate further and do everything you can in order to make sure your child is not only properly taken care of, but is able to move past their current situation and develop into an outstanding child.

Learn why you should get a mental health test for you or your child now.

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