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Behaviour Disorder

The Most Common Behavior Disorders in Children

Raising children is difficult, and raising difficult children can be life disrupting. But being able to tell whether your child is just going through a stage, or if something is really wrong isn’t always that easy.

A tantrum doesn’t automatically mean your 2-year-old has a problem with authority, and a kindergartner who doesn’t want to sit still doesn’t necessarily have an attention disorder. When it comes to understanding our children’s behavior, experts say diagnoses and labels should be kept to a minimum.

Defining “Disorders”

Child psychology experts from the University of Oxford and University of Pittsburgh say that the term “disorder” should be used cautiously for children up to 5 years old, and question its validity. Professors Frances Gardner and Daniel S. Shaw say the evidence is limited that problems in preschool indicate problems later in life, or that behavioral issues are evidence of a true disorder. “There are concerns about distinguishing normal from abnormal behavior in this period of rapid developmental change,” they wrote.

That being said, a conservative approach to handling behavioral and emotional issues in this age group is best.

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