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How do I know when to seek professional help for my child's behavior?

Michele Borba
Psychology

Here are simple behavior makeover tips to help you know when you should worry about your child and get help:

   1. First, look for a pattern in your child's behavior. Every child is going to feel sad or be angry. But if you see a sudden change in your child's normal behavior that lasts longer than two weeks that's become intense. Anger, defiance, crying, a change in friends, sleeping, eating, or dress habits, trouble in school.
   2. She's drawing pictures or writing poems about death, asking questions about funerals, giving away personal belongs, constantly listening to sad songs or lyrics about dying.
   3. Your instinct says something is wrong. This is the one sign parents don't rely on nearly enough.

Don't wait. Pick up the phone and get help.

Whatever you try remember to consistently use the method until you do get the change you want.
The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

More About this Book

The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries

Today show's Michele Borba's cures for difficult childhood behaviors In this down-to-earth guide, parenting expert Michele Borba offers advice for dealing with children's difficult behavior and hot...
Diana K. Blythe, MD
Pediatrics

In order to decide when to seek professional help for behavior, just ask your pediatrician. Most behavior problems can be helped at a regular visit with basic suggestions, however some issues need more time and therapy. 

Most importantly, if your child talks about harming themself or someone else, call your pediatrician immediately or go to the nearest emergency room.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.