Antisocial Children: How To Identify and Treat It

Moderate antisocial behavior levels are common amongst all children, and intermittent phases of this type of behavior are to be expected throughout childhood. Antisocial behavior doesn’t necessarily mean violence or intent to cause harm to other children. 

It can also be lying, persistently not doing as one’s told, or even just simply withdrawing and displaying a certain level of aloofness to other children and parents or guardians.  

As we’ve said, moderate levels of these examples of antisocial behavior are nothing to worry about. However, if issues such as this persist and do not receive any form of treatment, it can lead to serious concerns later in life. Luckily, antisocial behavior can be easily identified and treated. 

Most Common Signs 

As mentioned, the main signs of antisocial behavior in young children are deceitfulness, aloofness, defiance, violence, and aggression. These examples could extend to violence towards animals, stealing, breaking the rules, and vandalism. 

More common amongst young boys, these examples of antisocial behavior will manifest during childhood and can last until late adolescence. The estimated number of children who exhibit the above signs of antisocial behavior is between 4 and 6 million. 

Antisocial behavior could be inherited, but the fault could also lie in poor parenting, a violent home life, or a bad environment. One child displaying signs of antisocial behavior could disrupt the rest of the class’s ability to learn

What Untreated Antisocial Behavior Can Lead To 

Untreated antisocial behavior may continue to cause issues for the individual throughout adolescence. Signs of untreated antisocial behavior include lack of remorse, empathy, and conscience, alongside heightened signs of aggression, arrogance, and manipulative tendencies. 

How To Prevent Antisocial Behavior 

To prevent the individual from suffering problems later in life, it is imperative to curb antisocial behavior as soon as the signs are seen to persist. 

One way to stop antisocial behavior is by introducing activities into the curriculum to teach students how to deal with their problems or aggression towards others. This includes teaching conflict resolution, emotional literacy, and anger management. 

If particular students exhibit well-developed signs of antisocial behavior, it may be a good idea to take them aside for more concentrated and student-specific versions of the suggestions above. It might also be wise to employ one-on-one mentoring

If problems persist, it could be necessary to employ tactics including cognitive behavioral therapy, family therapy, adolescence therapy, and potentially even behavioral family intervention. 

You could even encourage the child’s parents to attend parent management training to sort out any parenting issues you feel are hampering the child’s ability to move on from his antisocial habits. 

Concluding Thoughts

Again, all parents and teachers should expect their child to exhibit some degree of antisocial behavior, which is totally natural. However, when this problem persists, it is necessary to employ some of the ideas and suggestions mentioned in this article to stop it early on.

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