In counseling around parenting and managing children’s behavioral issues, we often need to focus on the “WHY” of those behavioral issues.
We can think of the “WHY” in 4 different categories.
Is it due to .....
1. Temperament or personality
2. Environmental factors
3. Physical health issues like sleep apnea and other physical health issues
4. Mental health issues like anxiety, depression, ASD, ADD, ODD, and adjustment disorders including adjustment disorders secondary to personality/environmental mismatch above
Often it’s a mixture of the above factors, with the top two being the most common. If the child’s personality significantly mismatch with their environment, then there is a risk of adjustment disorders with anxious or depressed mood, especially if the child does not have the skills and resources to adapt to the environment, or the environment does not have the skills and resources to adapt to the child.
Knowing the “WHY” will guide us with the “HOW” to improve the situation for these families.
We also need to be careful not to diagnose or committing to ASD, ODD, ADD too quickly, before thoroughly assessing the other “WHYs”.