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Why odd behaviour?

Mind you, an “odd behaviour” is a reaction to a wide variety of factors. These factors may operate before pregnancy, during pregnancy, during delivery, in neonatal period, and in subsequent emotional environments. Emotional environment is  made of parental attitudes, siblings, neighbourhood, school and mass media including movies, television, radio and magazines, etc.

The faulty parental attitudes are the single most important cause of behavioural difficulties, especially in a young child. Emotional conflicts resulting from such attitudes may be related to either overprotection or rejection.

Overprotection means more than excessive protection of the child against danger with the result that he is not allowed to take care ofhimself and grow up like his peers who are given balanced protection.

Overprotection may happen in the only child, the only son, a child born after many years of waiting, the first son (more so when this is a joint family), a very good-looking child, an intellectually or physically-disabled child, in case of loss of a spouse or failure on the part of a spouse to play his or her role well, or a child who is supposed to have brought fortune to the parents, etc.

Rejection,on the other hand, usually accompanied by favouritism to the other child, may amount to failure to attend to the normal needs of the child, unfavourable comparisons, sending to an institution when the circumstances do not demand it, unnecessary scolding, excessive punishment, or failure to please the child consistently witha reward as and when appropriate.

Rejection, as you would appreciate, may happen in an unwanted child, an illegitimate child, a stepchild, a mentally or physically handicapped child, a child who is supposed to have brought bad luck to the family, or a child who is chronically mischievous and a constantsource of troubles for the parents.

Interestingly enough, quite often the faulty parental attitudes may well be a mixture of overprotection at one time and rejection at another, depending on such diverse factors as parents’ mood, financial position, job satisfaction, interparental relationship, etc. Lack of consistency on the part of the parents confuses the child, leading to conflict, anxiety and insecurity.

You can, therefore, see that the cause of disturbed behaviour in a large majority of the children is insecurity, tension or lack of love.

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