All young children can be naughty, defiant, and impulsive from time to time, which is perfectly normal. However, some children have extremely difficult and challenging behaviors that are outside the norm of their age.
The most common disruptive behaviors include oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD).
Children with conduct disorder (CD) are often judged as ‘bad kids’ because of their delinquent behavior and refusal to accept rules. Around five percent of 10 year olds are thought to have CD, with boys outnumbering girls by four to one. Around one-third of children with CD also have ADHD.
Some of the typical behaviors of a child with CD may include;
- Frequent refusal to obey parents or other authority figures.
- Repeated truancy.
- Tendency to use drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, at a very early age.
- Lack of empathy for others.
- Being aggressive to animals and other people or showing sadistic behaviors including bullying and physical or sexual abuse.
- Keenness to start physical fights.
- Frequent lying
- Criminal behavior such as stealing, deliberately lighting fires, breaking into houses.
- A tendency to run away from home
- Suicidal tendencies-although these are more rare.
Oppositional Defiant Disorder:
Around one in ten children under the age of 12 years are thought to have oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), with boys outnumbering girls by two to one. Some of the typical behaviors of a child with ODD include:
- Easily angered, annoyed or irritated.
- Frequent temper tantrums
- Argues frequently with adults, particularly the most familiar adults in their lives, such as parents.
- Refuses to obey rules
- Seems to deliberately try to annoy or aggravate others.
- Low self esteem
- Low frustration threshold
- Seeks to blame others for any misfortunes or misdeeds.