Bad Kid? Could be more than it seems.

We’ve all seen it. That one kid that just can’t seem to do anything right. Maybe it’s hurting others, saying mean things, not following directions, the list goes on and on. But there is one thing to always keep in mind when it comes to dealing with these children, what could be the cause?

I’ve worked at an after school program for elementary school children for seven years now. Every day I think to myself “Now I’ve seen it all”, but something new surprises me every time. What I have witnessed many times though is the so-called “Bad Kid”.

There is one child that comes to mind who I work with daily, and daily have issues with him. Let’s call him Frank. Frank is one more hit away from being suspended from the after school program, and to be honest a lot of us are hoping for that hit.

For me though, I want to know the reason behind it all. Just last week Frank punched another student in the face, for no reason! These are kindergarteners mind you. This to me just doesn’t sound right, there has to be an underlying issue or issues going on.

In an article from Childmind.org, there are a few things that could cause aggression in children: mood disorders, psychosis, frustration, impulsivity, conduct disorder, injury, and trauma (Silva, n.d.). Some of these seem like a possibility for Frank but there is no way for me to be able to diagnose him, I’m no doctor!

“These overly aggressive children appear to have less mature nervous systems than other children their age. This shows up in a variety of problems with self-control. They cannot sit still for more than a few minutes. They are easily distracted. Once they begin to get excited or angry, they have difficulty stopping themselves. They are impulsive and have trouble concentrating on a task for more than a few minutes or even seconds” (Kutner, n.d.).

Now that definitely seems like Frank. Frank has a hard time during every part of the after school day. He continuously has to be moved when the children are sitting down on the Rainbow Carpet, has a hard time playing inside and keeping his hands to himself, then we go outside and he hits or kicks someone in the “privates”. Frank is an all around difficult child.

But not all children are the same and we have to remind ourselves that. Some children can’t express themselves with words and use other behaviors instead, even if they’re unexpected ones. Frank is going to be a difficult child for a while, I can tell, but that doesn’t mean he should be loved any less. When he is not punching or kicking another child, throwing toys, or calling children mean names, he can be a sweetheart with a great sense of humor.

Children are going to be challenging and not behave as expected, but we have to look at what could be causing that behavior. Many times people just want to discipline these “Bad Kids” without looking deeper, which could lead to their behavior getting worse.

Bad behavior could mean a variety of things and it’s going to take that one person to realize the child could need further help, other than punishment.

Maybe that person could be you!

Please comment with any ideas that might help Frank and I, thanks!

Reference List

Kutner, P. B. (2016). Aggressive Children | Psych Central. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://psychcentral.com/lib/aggressive-children/?all=1

@. (n.d.). What Are Some of the Causes of Aggression in Children? | Child Mind Institute. Retrieved September 22, 2016, from http://childmind.org/article/what-are-some-of-the-causes-of-aggression-in-children/

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