Many different things have an impact on a child’s behaviour.

Genes
Some children are naturally more lively and excitable than others. They may be easily distracted and enjoy company rather than spending time on their own. Although boisterous, you’ll usually be able to control their behaviour.

School
You may notice a change in your child’s behaviour when she starts school. If your child has problems learning things or is slower in picking things up, this can affect her behaviour. Reading problems can also make it hard to complete tasks or follow instructions.

Parental behaviour
Problems are a part of everyday life, but if you are unhappy and absorbed in dealing with them, it will affect the time you spend with your child. To counter this, your child may try to attract attention through noisy behaviour.

If it isn’t clear to your child what is and isn’t allowed, it can result in difficult behaviour. This is because rules let your child know you don’t like a certain type of conduct.

Clear, consistent rules will help your child learn to control her own behaviour. So if you’re a two-parent family, you and your partner need to agree on the boundaries.

If you’re a working parent, it’s also something that needs discussing with your child’s carers. Sensitivity to food or medicine.

There’s no doubt food can affect the way we feel. You may notice certain foods affect your child’s behaviour. If you’re concerned about your child’s diet, you should ask your GP or a dietician for advice. All children need a healthy balanced diet.Medicines can also affect the behaviour of some children.

Some asthma medications may sometimes make a child hyperactive, irritable or unable to sleep for a short time. Travel sickness medicines and antihistamines have the potential to make children either drowsy or overactive. Children may feel irritable following vaccines or if a medicine has caused a headache. If you think any medicine is making your child behave differently, talk to your GP. It may be that your child’s behaviour is unrelated to the medicine, but if it is, your GP may be able to suggest an alternative treatment.

Medical problems
Certain medical conditions can affect your child’s behaviour. Epileptic seizures can cause a child to become drowsy, impairing their attention. Epilepsy can also cause unusual behaviour and lead to abnormal perceptions.

Hearing problems such as deafness or glue ear can make it hard for a child to follow instructions. Sometimes, not hearing what’s been said can be mistaken for not doing what you’re told.

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