Elementary Schoolers
Bullies & Cyber Bullying
Behavior Problems
Classroom-Student Behavior
Extracurricular Activities
Internet & Technology
Kids Health & Safety
Parenting Styles & Skills
Peer Pressure
Positive Discipline
Sibling Rivalry
Sleepovers & Bedtime

Behavior Problems in Elementary School Age Kids

Behavior Problems in Grade School

Behavior problems can develop into big issues for kids in elementary school. Our parenting articles have tips on behaviors like O.D.D., separation anxiety, and more.

Temper tantrums are no fun, regardless of how old your child is. Tantrums may start when your child is a toddler, but plenty of children continue to have them when they reach the elementary school years. The good news is that there are things you can do to help tame temper tantrums! Not everything you try will work the first time, but be patient and consistent and you - and your child - will get through this phase.

By the time your child reaches the elementary school age, she is ready to take on more responsibility. Follow the child behavior checklist below to help point your child in the right direction.

Kids love to argue. It's how they exercise their independence. If you have a child in elementary school, there is a really good chance you have, at some point, found yourself right in the middle of a power struggle. Sometimes parents don't even see it coming; it sneaks up on them, and they wonder how they get there. Knowing what to do when your child engages in a power struggle can help you avoid them!

Hearing your child say "No!" when you have asked her to do something can be a shocker. It can also leave you wondering where to go from there. Do you force your child to do what you have asked? Just what is the best way to handle defiance? Knowing the answers to these questions can nip this age-old problem in the bud.

Let's face it, most everyone bites their nails from time to time, but it's definitely not a behavior you want to encourage as a parent. You may have noticed your child biting her nails and realized that it is happening more than just once in a while. Nail biting is an extremely common habit, affecting one-third to one-half of all children. There are several reasons why children excessively bite their nails; comfort, boredom, to relieve stress, just habit. Your child may have developed the behavior from you or from someone else in the family and now unconsciously practices it.

As every parent has likely encountered at some point, toddlers love security items. Most kids seem to have something that makes them feel safe. Maybe it's a pacifier, a blanket, or a favorite bear. And, while most kids give up these security items by the time they reach the 6-9 age group, there are still quite a few who tote these items around longer. So, just how long is it okay for your child to have a security item?

Every parent dreads hearing that their child has committed a crime. Young kids in elementary school may engage in shoplifting. While it may make your heart sink, it is a common problem with young kids, and one that you can usually successfully address. Many kids this age simply take things because they have a hard time controlling themselves. Still, you'll want to put a stop to this behavior right away to avoid future problems.

Because dyslexia varies in severity from person to person, it can be hard to effectively diagnose the disorder. Your child will have to take part in several tests before she can be properly be diagnosed with dyslexia, and other learning disabilities have to be ruled out.

Parenting can be a rewarding experience even though it is not always an easy job. There are many challenges that parents face, and a hard-to-manage child is at the top of the list. Dealing with a difficult child can be overwhelming and frustrating, but, with the right tools, parents can modify the problematic behavior.

Sometimes the very words "Learning Disorder" send parents running for cover. There are many types of learning disorders, from mild to severe, and they don’t necessarily signal an end to your child’s Harvard dreams. In most cases, a learning disorder means your child may need to try harder or get specialized instruction. Listed below are four common learning disorders:

Drugs have to be one of the things that worry parents the most. And, it should! We live in a time when drugs are easy to get, even at a young age, and they can have long-term, damaging results. Believe it or not, the perfect time to start focusing on teaching your children about drugs is when they are in elementary school.

By Linda Sorkin, LMFT with Soul Empowered Coaching
Have you ever felt that tremendous sense of guilt for secretly calling your child OBNOXIOUS? Or, without saying anything, felt embarrassment or extreme frustration at the audacity of entertaining deep negative thoughts about your obnoxious child? It is OK to feel the way you do; purge your consciousness and admit it. We have all been there, so no need to berate yourself and repent your guilty thoughts! All parents desperately need the tools to handle those challenging moments and empower their kids to behave differently and be their best selves.

Most parents have witnessed bouts of separation anxiety when their children were toddlers. The first time you tried to sneak away and get some errands done, your child cried like crazy! And while it is a normal developmental phase that all younger children to go through, some elementary-aged kids may continue to have difficulty or experience stress when separated from a parent or caregiver.

Shyness is intricately linked to temperament. And some aspects of temperament are hereditary. In many cases, a shy child has at least one parent who is shy. But, not to worry, a shy child does not always grow into a shy adult. Shyness in children is normal. For the most part, it's nothing to worry about. Many children suffer from occasional bouts of shyness, especially in new situations. But, most parents quickly see their children blossom into social creatures that readily interact with their peers.

What do Abraham Lincoln, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison, Thomas Jefferson, Brad Pitt, Carrie Underwood, David Bowie, David Letterman, Elvis Presley, Jim Carrey, Tom Cruise, and Tom Hanks all have in common? They were all painfully shy as children. There's no question shyness can cause kids to miss out on opportunities. But as the famous folks named above show, It is possible to overcome shyness. Shyness is defined as anxiety and behavioral inhibition in social situations. Almost all children experience shyness at some time, but some experience it to a debilitating degree.

Have a shy child? You are not alone! Shyness is a common issue among children. The problem with shyness is that it can be painful for children as well as parents who witness it and aren't quite sure what to do. Shyness may keep kids from getting involved in social activities or even prevent them participate fully in the classroom. Have no fear, when it comes to shyness, help is here!

You can bet there will be times when you are confronted with an outburst of anger from your child. This challenge simply comes with the territory of being a parent. Sometimes your child can be so unruly you wonder who has kidnapped your child and taken over his body. The challenge is to effectively parent your child while not losing your cool. So what is a conscientious parent to do when a child loses it emotionally?

Nobody likes to be screamed at, but it is common for children to go through periods of screaming at their parents in order to see how far they can push. If you are like most parents, you are ready to turn the volume down on your screamer. The good news is that there are ways you can address this issue.

Have a child that whines to try to get his way? Perhaps he is just whining to get your attention. Either way, whining is a common way that kids try to communicate something. The problem is that whining can be really nerve-wracking for parents (and other adults). Sometimes, however, it's what's not being said that needs to be addressed. Knowing how to interpret whining can help you determine how to address the situation.

Have a child that is consistently defiant, hostile, or refuses to follow the rules? It is possible that your child may have a condition referred to as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this condition is believed to be present in up to 20 percent of school-age children and is marked by a pattern of disobedience and hostile behavior.

It's not so unusual for kids to misbehave at times or become a bit defiant. But if your child is consistently angry, argumentative, and engages in ongoing defiant behavior, you may have a more serious problem on your hands. If this is the case and your child has been exhibiting defiant behavior for at least six months straight, he may have what is referred to as Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD). Identifying Oppositional Defiant Disorder in children, and then addressing it, is important for you, your child, and the whole family.

Just because your child is talking to someone you can't see doesn't mean she's ready for the psychiatrist's couch. In fact, research shows that by age seven, nearly two-thirds of children have had at least one imaginary friend. While parents may worry that these relationships will cause a child to become an introvert, inhibit real relationships, or be a precursor to mental illness, quite the opposite is true. Psychologists say imaginary friends help children sort through the confusing issues of life such as right and wrong, control, discipline, friendship, and even coping with trauma. By the time your child enters elementary school, she will likely have parted ways with her imaginary friends. But it's not that uncommon for a child to form her first imaginary friendship after she's started school, either.

School is a major part of your child's life. If he is doing well, things are smooth if they are not, it can become a source of frustration for both you and your child. Often, parents know that their child needs to make improvements in their school performance and grades, but they just aren't sure how to go about helping their child do so. After all, kids don't come with an instruction manual (sure would be nice if they did!).

If you have a child who likes to kick, hit, or bite, know that you are not alone. It is actually quite common for kids to go through stages like this. And, while this behavior may be even more common when kids are toddlers, it can still often happen with kids in elementary school. The good news is that there are things you can do to eliminate aggressive behavior in your child.

Just about every parent of a child in the elementary school age range has dealt with a child who is manipulative. Whether your child plays one parent against the other or uses abusive talk, it is common for kids to try to manipulate adults. What matters most is how you react to this type of behavior right from the beginning, as it will set the stage for what is to come. 

Have a child that picks his nose in public or farts at the dinner table? While this behavior may be horrifying, embarrassing, and even gross, it is actually a common way for kids to behave. This is especially true of kids in elementary school when they are just discovering all the things their bodies are capable of doing... and the reactions those little oddities get from adults.

Learning about Oppositional Defiant Disorder is important if you’re a parent seeing consistently defiant behavior from your child. As kids continue to grow older they tend to defy authority more than they used to. You might wish you could go back to the days when your child constantly followed you around the house wanting to be held and hugged. Unfortunately you can't go back in time, but you should realize that almost all children are defiant from time to time, whether they're in the "terrible twos" stage or they just turned nine years old. However, if you've noticed your child has developed a constant bad attitude and continues to defy authority, it may be time to take action.

Most people experience a bit of shyness at some point in their lives. However, it can be painful to watch a shy child struggle to connect with others. A study found that 40% of children are shy! Some are born with the tendency to be shy while others become shy as they get older and begin to interact with people in their lives. Different social situations can create periodic episodes of shyness. However, it can be a problem when shyness interferes with social relationships, school, or other areas of your child's life.

If you have ever asked your child to do something and gotten a sassy retort in return, you have been exposed to back talk. Most parents have been on the receiving end of backtalk at one time or another. It's inevitable that children will test the waters and see if they can smart back to their parent. This bad habit generally rears its ugly head during the elementary years, so be prepared to nip it in the bud right away! 

At one time or another, we all get a little anxious. But, there are some children that seem to get more anxious than others, and they do it on a regular basis. If this sounds like your child, rest assured, there are things you can do to try to alleviate the discomfort that often accompanies severe anxiety. The more you know about anxiety and how to help your child through it, the better everyone will feel! 

Have a child that has anger outbursts from time to time? If you are like most parents, you have been on the receiving end of an angry child on several occasions. It is quite common for kids in elementary school to have anger outbursts, but this behavior issue can be improved.

If your child has hurt another child, first know that you are not alone. You may be feeling a bit confused and upset, but kids hurting kids is relatively common. Still, it's important to understand that the aggressive behavior that results in bumps and bruises (physically and/or emotionally) may be normal, but it also has to be stopped before it worsens.