All kids misbehave some times. And some may have temporary behavior problems due to stress. For example, the birth of a sibling, a divorce, or a death in the family may cause a child to act out. Conduct disorders are more serious. They involve a pattern of hostile, aggressive, or disruptive behaviors for more than 6 months. The behavior is also not appropriate for the child’s age.
SYMPTOMS OF CONDUCT DISORDERS
- Frequent refusal to obey parents or other authority figures
- Repeated truancy
- Tendency to use drugs, including cigarettes and alcohol, at a very early age
- Lack of empathy for others
- Being aggressive to animals and other people or showing sadistic behaviours including bullying and physical or sexual abuse
- Keenness to start physical fights
- Using weapons in physical fights
- Frequent lying
- Criminal behaviour such as stealing, deliberately lighting fires, breaking into houses and vandalism
- A tendency to run away from home
- Suicidal tendencies – although these are more rare.