A child's behavior often betrays the problems that bother him. If you want to understand him better - learn body language and emotions.

6 child actions that indicate a serious psychological problem

Communication between adults and children is a multifaceted process. At the same time, only 7% of information is transmitted by words, the rest of the interaction takes place in body language - through intonation, facial expressions, postures and gestures. For preschoolers and children of primary school age, typical bodily manifestations are characteristic, which will tell you what the kids really feel and what they are worried about.

1. Child curls hair or chews on nails

Such compulsive actions are a sign of emotional tension: repetitive movements calm the child and create a feeling of stability and calmness. Such gestures are typical of children who are afraid not to meet the expectations of their parents, not to cope with what is expected of them. When faced with difficulties or troubles, they are afraid to ask for help, to seem weak and inept.

"Do not bother!", "Again, you have to do everything for you!", "You are of no use!" If you caught yourself on such phrases, get rid of them soon!

2. Sniffs, sniffs, or coughs

Even a small child quickly notices that when he is sick, parents become more attentive and caring, they are ready to postpone everything in order to devote time to him. What can we say about older children: by quietly coughing or sniffing noisily, they try to attract the attention of their parents and arouse sympathy and pity, because this is how they unconsciously (and sometimes consciously) demonstrate their helplessness and vulnerability.

Often “sick” children grow up from those to whom parents make excessive demands, repeating to them: “What are you so little ?!”, “You are already big!”, “What are you whining?”.

Important! Sometimes children get sick “on purpose” so as not to go to kindergarten or school. This happens for a number of reasons:

  • uncomfortable environment and emotional background in an educational institution;
  • problems with peers;
  • lack of parental attention and care.

Illness provides warmth and compassion. If you suspect a simulation, try to understand what exactly caused this "game" and eliminate it. Or ask a specialist for help.

3. Bites lips

If this happens during a conversation, then the child is obviously trying not to say too much. Either he is trying his best to keep some secret bursting out in himself, or he seeks not to enter into an argument with the interlocutor, to keep silent, even if he does not agree with the speaker. But if a baby bites his lip in the course of some activity, this demonstrates the maximum degree of concentration and the difficulty of the task assigned to him.

Bitten lips are typical for children to whom parents instill: "Do not argue with your elders!", "Do what they say," "You must." 


Watch yourself: 

  • pay attention to the remarks that you throw at the child when you are tired or angry - at those moments when you lose control and can say something superfluous;
  • try to get rid of non-constructive messages to the child. Say more words of love and support to him;
  • give your child more space and opportunities for independent actions and decisions. Your many tips can prevent him from thinking creatively and developing, and the desire to do something for him does not give him the opportunity to learn from his own mistakes.

4. Wringing his hands

This betrays anxiety and self-doubt: it seems to the child that the whole world is looking at him - and he must show himself to the maximum, do what is expected of him. Wringing his hands, the child thus takes a pause, trying to sort out all possible options for action and choose the best one. However, this habit can develop into already unhealthy attempts to harm yourself: pinching yourself, scratching your hands, feet and even your face, pulling your hair, stabbing yourself with a pin or pencil, banging your head on a table or wall.

Thus, the child punishes himself for his mistakes, it seems to him that he did wrong, even when, it would seem, he did nothing.

Parents often criticize their children, throwing him: "You are a fool", "It would be better if you weren't there," "You just spoil everything!"

5. Makes faces, clowns

The habit of imitating other people (grimacing, faces, grimacing) is primarily a way to attract attention. Most often this happens due to self-doubt: the child believes that he is not talented and interesting enough in comparison with other children, and in order to be paid attention to him, he needs to clown and grimace. He regards the comments of adults in such a situation as his "moment of glory."

Such children often hear ridicule and jokes from their parents or peers: “Well, you’re awkward,” “Your hands are growing out of the wrong place,” “Our dear fat man.”

Important!When a second child appears in the family, older children often lack attention, feel resentment, which prompts them to use different ways to get their mother's attention back. One of these ways is antics, which is like a cry for help: "Pay attention to me!"

6. Swears, scandals, insults others

Uncontrollable rage, when the child “because of nothing” screams, throws objects, slams doors - a signal that there is some hidden problem that takes away all resources from the child. He is constantly in a state of stress, and the most insignificant reason makes him break down, because the problem that gnaws at him from the inside does not find its solution in any way. Such manifestations are often typical for children who are brought up by one parent or grandmother.

At the same time, they receive seemingly positive messages from adults: “You are the best”, “You are my life”, “You are a real man (unlike your father)”. It is these words that make the child feel his global mission: to be the best, ideal always and in everything, while feeling guilty about the absence of a second parent. And this internal contradiction forces them to explode and throw off the constantly accumulating tension.

When should parents contact a neurologist?

Specialist help is required if the child has: 

  • nervous tic (involuntary muscle twitching)
often appears in children over 5 years old, especially in schoolchildren;

  • hysterical seizures 
a child (over 4 years old) bangs his head, hands or feet on objects, falls to the floor, arching. At 3 years old, these symptoms can be a manifestation of a crisis and do not need correction;

  • stuttering
more often manifests itself in boys 3-5 years old. But girls and schoolchildren can also suffer from it.

  • anorexia (refusal to eat, vomiting while eating)
often appears in response to force-feeding;

  • enuresis and encopresis  (urinary and fecal incontinence)
are more common in preschoolers, and especially bother children at night. The neurologist will check the state of the baby's nervous system and, if necessary, prescribe medication. And the psychologist will help to identify the traumatic factors that provoked the appearance of the disorders, and remove them.