Mother trying to talk to boy throwing temper tantrum

Since children are still growing and learning how to navigate their feelings, it is common for them to exhibit elevated emotions at times. However, a child that experiences frequent emotional outbursts may be suffering from a behavioral condition. To help you better address your child’s health needs, the board-certified pediatricians at Touchpoint Pediatrics are here. We’ll discuss the signs and symptoms of behavioral concerns in youth, as well as how child behavioral health specialists can assist.

Recognizing Repetitive Behaviors

Before seeking medical treatment for a behavioral issue in your child, you must rule out that their behavior is a reaction to circumstances. For instance, if a child loses their favorite toy or a playdate gets canceled, they will reasonably be upset. However, repetitive emotional reactions that seem to occur for no reason can indicate your child is suffering from a behavioral condition. Some implications of problematic, repetitive behaviors include:

  • Persistent sadness that lasts two weeks or more
  • Outbursts of extreme anger or irritability
  • Sudden changes in mood or personality (i.e. going from happy to angry in a matter of minutes)
  • Harmful or out-of-control behavior
  • Mean acts or comments to others
  • Hurting or talking about hurting oneself or others
  • Avoidance of social interactions
  • Difficulty concentrating or listening to rules

Evaluating A Child’s Environment

When a child displays behavioral symptoms abruptly, their environment may be to blame. For instance, if you relocate, the different physical and social aspects of the new environment may heavily influence your child’s behavior. Environmental changes or disruptions worth evaluating include:

Physical-Environmental Factors

Diet is one of the most influential physical causes of behavioral issues in children. For example, children who rarely finish their meals can develop behavioral conditions. Children who experience abrupt changes in their sleep are also more susceptible to lash out or show behavioral shifts. Factors affecting rest include nightmares, improper bedroom temperatures, or a new baby keeping them awake at night. Other important physical aspects to consider are nearby pollution and secondhand smoke.

Social-Environmental Factors

Shifts in relational conditions can all affect a child’s behavior. Children who experience a divorce, parents fighting or struggling with alcohol and drug abuse, or sudden death in the family can struggle to develop behaviorally. Lonely kids can also suffer due to a lack of socialization, and even a new babysitter can cause disruptions. Common emotional reactions to changing social environments include anger, sadness, or rebellious behaviors.

If you notice a correlation between a change in social or physical conditions and differences in your child’s behavior, their environment may be the source. At this point, consider seeking assistance from a pediatrician or child behavioral health specialist to figure out a solution for your kid. Parents can also explore our office blog for additional stories on behavioral health.

Treatment From Pediatricians Or Child Behavioral Health Specialists

It can be overwhelming as a parent to see your child struggle with their emotions and behavior. However, statistics from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) show there are multiple treatment options available for children with behavioral issues. Many children experience these difficulties throughout their childhood and can find solutions to assist and manage these conditions.

If you feel that your child is showing signs of behavioral health issues, you can discuss those concerns during a general care appointment at Touchpoint Pediatrics. One of our pediatricians, Dr. Jennifer Shaw, is board certified in both general pediatrics and developmental behavioral pediatrics. Although Touchpoint Pediatrics does not perform developmental or behavior health evaluations, we help children cope with the following behavioral issues:

  • ADHD
  • Autism
  • Feeding struggles
  • Learning disabilities
  • Motivational problems
  • Separation anxiety
  • Sibling rivalry

Seek Behavioral Care For Children At Touchpoint Pediatrics

If you are an existing or new patient and would like behavioral care for your child, consider scheduling a general care appointment at Touchpoint Pediatrics. Dr. Shaw and our other pediatricians are happy to discuss specific concerns related to behavioral health. Located in Chatham, New Jersey, we tailor all care to meet the unique needs of patients throughout Hoboken, Morristown, Summit, Berkeley Heights, and beyond. Contact us today to learn more about our behavioral health services.