Common Problem Behaviors of Children

At some time or other, all children display undesired behaviors, whether at home or school. Some of these behaviors are normal parts of growth and development, notes the Palo Alto Medical Foundation 2. Other behaviors could indicate a behavioral issue that needs to be addressed. Understanding common childhood behaviors make it easier to determine if your child's acting out is normal or if he needs help.


As a parent, you're probably well aware of what can set your child off into a tantrum, though sometimes the reason might be a mystery. Tantrums vary among children and change with age, but most kids will throw their fair share during their childhood. Young children probably kick, scream and throw themselves to the floor -- and flail their arms. Older kids might stomp down the hall, throw things or slam their bedroom door. However, tantrums generally tend to diminish as a child gets older, with the peak of activity being before age 3, notes The Centre for Community Health, based in Australia.

Physical Aggression

Young kids don't always have the words or self-control to let a parent or peer know that he is angry and upset. Sometimes, they lash out by kicking, biting or hitting instead. Many times, this isn't cause for concern, but some children may continue using physical aggression as they get older, according to the website. For this reason, you should never ignore aggressive behavior. If you're concerned about your child's behavior, consult your pediatrician for follow-up.

Bad Words

Much of the time, kids use dirty words or swear words because they get such a reaction from adults, whether it's laughing or gasping in horror. Saying bad words when he drops his toy or if he falls down isn't likely a reason to be overly worried. However, if bad words are accompanied by fighting or aggressive behavior, your child might have a behavior disorder, notes The Centre for Community Health. If your child's swearing worries you, talk to his doctor about effective ways to put a stop to it.


When your 3-year-old shouts "No!" at you when you ask him to put his toys away or when your teen stays out an hour past curfew after a fight over the topic, he's being defiant. Some of this is normal behavior, as children gain more independence and want to show it. However, if your child defies you often, this is not good, and you'll want to speak to your child's pediatrician for follow up. Some children have many angry outbursts, blatant disobedience and frequent fights with their parents and other authority figures.