Some parents struggle with the idea of having their child go to therapy. They feel that the problems will disappear with age, or that every child struggles with behavioral problems. Although that may be the case for some children, other children do need help.

Helping your child overcome behavioral issues is just as important as taking a child to the doctor when sick with a fever or the flu.

Characteristics that identify a child as having a behavior or emotional disorder can occur in any setting. A few to be aware of in the classroom:

  • Ignoring or arguing with the teacher
  • Disturbing peers (yelling, cursing, hitting, throwing tantrums)
  • Not following directions
  • Destroying property
  • Stealing, lying

Many children struggle from time to time with the above list, but a behavioral problem might be the cause when these problems occur frequently. Your child’s teacher will know how often the problems are occurring; talking with him/her would be beneficial in order to help your child.

At home, look for the following:

  • Temper tantrums. It isn’t out of the ordinary for a child to have tantrums. However, when the tantrum is severe, long in duration, or causes harm to the child, the tantrums become problematic.
  • Loss of interest in family, friends, favorite toys, school, or other enjoyable activities
  • Change in demeanor (a sense of hopelessness, anxiety, self-esteem issues, etc.)

Early treatment and intervention can help reduce the impact of symptoms on further development. Untreated symptoms can lead to the development of secondary problems such as social, academic, and occupational difficulties.

Children with behavioral issues benefit from therapy as it allows them to express themselves. The child can learn the reasons for their behavior, their trigger points, and how to deal with those issues once they arise.

A therapist can also help the child learn to identify their inner thoughts and replace their bad thoughts with positive ones. Role playing allows a child to act out their issues and gives them ideas for how to respond when problems arise.

Family therapy should also be considered. Parents will play a huge role in helping the child, and sometimes therapy and training is necessary and helpful. The child with the disorder won’t be the only member of the family affected, and each member of the family will play a role in helping the child adjust.

Making decisions that affect your child’s well-being can be difficult. If you have any questions about this blog post, please don’t hesitate to comment or reach out. To set up an appointment to see Reka, you can reach her at 402-881-8125. You can also email her at, or connect with her via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Lotus Carroll via photopin cc