All praise be to Allah.

The behavioural problems in children can be caused by various reasons and some of which may afflict them throughout their lives. In this article we will discuss some of the causes of behavioural problems.

1. Bad role models:

A child learn from his elders and from those whom he considers as his role models. If he finds them lying, cheating, or doing any evil, he too will follow his steps and learn those things from him.

A child could learn to cheat and steal when he gives his mother the sum of money that remains after buying bread, for example, and when she finds an extra pound or loaf, she neither rejects the child's behaviour nor orders him to return it to the seller.

If a father is a smoker and doesn’t deal honestly in business then what does he expect his son to do? If mother never follows hijab, how can she expect her daughter to follow it? A bad example is among the greatest causes of psychological and behavioural problems from which our children suffer.

2. Contempt and humiliation

Never humiliate a child. How can a child develop good morals if he is exposed to bad treatment? To beat a child with a shoe, to kick him, slap him on the face, abuse him with the foulest words, criticize him, or humiliate him all lead to the same result: i.e., behavioural and psychological troubles.

It becomes easy for a child to tell lies, steal, curse, abuse and develops bad attitude.

3. Family problems

If the family is broken or has too many problems to deal with, the child may suffer because of all that. A quarrelling environment is never healthy for a child. How can a child develop understanding when his parents fight day and night on petty issues? Or his mother being evil to her in-laws and vice versa. Instead of providing good environment, elders are busy in accusing others and exchange abuses and insults. All of this will lead to psychological and behavioural distortion in the children’s character, particularly if a child loses the sense of security that his peers, who have happy parents and quiet homes, enjoy. A child who lives with feuding parents feels inferior, resents and hates others.

4. Excessive cruelty

Most fathers and teachers think it is important to be harsh and strict with children and only then they will be respected and only then they will learn! They tend to be frowning all the time and appear stern. All this may affect the child negatively. A father may feel that he will not inspire awe and obedience in the house unless he slaps his children severely on their soft cheeks, even for the most trifling mistakes, and do not content themselves with maintaining absolute abstention from kissing and embracing them. He does this under the pretext that this might reduce his awe in the sight of his children. However, this reminds us of the man who saw the Messenger of Allah kissing Al-Hasan and Al-Husayn thereupon he said, "I have ten children and I have never kissed any of them." On that the Messenger of Allah replied decisively to this cruelty: ~"Whoever does not show mercy will not be shown mercy. Such excessive cruelty with children develops within them a lot of behavioural disorders and psychological troubles in the future. Enuresis (involuntary urination), fear, introversion, telling lies, and other problems are mainly caused by cruelty.

5. Spoiling children

A spoiled child is the one whose parents never say no to. They keep them in over-protective, incubator-like environment. They never allow them to leave it and bring them everything they want or ask for. Such children grow with a distorted character who is indecisive, haughty, and timid and may feel inferior. The spoiled child's failure to bear any responsibility (since all his demands are answered); subjugating his parents (who, in turn, submit to him); his feeling of haughtiness and arrogance, as evidenced by his repeating the phrase 'My parents never say no to me'; his rebellion against the authority of his parents, and disrespect for them or refusal to comply with their commands. All this turn a spoiled child into a person who lacks social adjustment and expects his friends to comply to him and thus he remains friendless.

6. Domination

Too much observation by parents and caregivers deprives the child of a sense of security and independence. It gives him a feeling of inferiority and forces him to tell lies. A child must be observed but in an indirect way and avoid direct questioning in things that are normal. Excessive dominating parents may ask: why are you in the kitchen? Why are you wearing this? Why do you talk to a friend and so on. since the children are not in need of all these questions, and its contribution to the upbringing process is negative.

All parents must be very careful in the upbringing of a child and take necessary measures to be better parents.

May Allah help us all.

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