When to Seek Help for Your Child

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (SCCAP)

As a parent, it can be hard to know when your child’s behavior is just a part of growing up or a sign of a bigger issue. 

There are several things a child and adolescent mental health professional will look at to determine if a child

 or teen’s behaviors are problematic:


• Is the behavior more intense than it should be? 

• Does the duration of the behavior continue after the situation has passed? 

• Is the behavior typical for his/her age level? 

• Is the behavior upsetting to your child or other family members? 

• Does the behavior prevent your child from interacting with friends or performing well in school? 

• Is the behavior inappropriate to the situation? 

• Does the behavior happen for no obvious reason? 

• Does your child avoid important social, school or family activities because of the behavior?


All children are different, and even the most typical child or teen may engage in “problematic” behaviors from time to time, especially when they are tired, stressed or sick. 

However, if your child or teen repeatedly engages in inappropriate or unwanted behaviors, consider meeting with a mental health professional. 

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