Is this behavior normal in a child?

My boyfriend's daughter is a social, intelligent 6 year old who is praised in class for doing well and has many friends. However, at home she is angry, throws many temper tantrums and cuts things when she's mad (her bedsheets, blankets, even cuts her hair off). She colors on walls and tables, and although she seems to understand she's not supposed to do these things, does them regardless.

My boyfriend raises them (her and her brother) on his own, and they see their biological mother every other weekend. For a time after their divorce, she didn't want to see them. Understandbly, there may be issues there.

Is this just a child being a child? Or something more serious? Would counseling be a reccommendation, or is that jumping the gun?


I should mention she goes from extreme temper tantrums, to complete opposite behavior and is VERY clingy to her dad (my boyfriend). Until I started staying over regularly, she would sleep in his bed, and now sleeps in her brother's bed (he's 8). I never did this with my mother or father (I'm from divorced parents).... but he keeps saying she'll just grow out of it. Is this related to behavorial issues?

14 Answers

  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    I have been a kindergarten teacher for several years and studied childhood education, child development, etc. all through college and I can tell you that this behavior is NOT normal. Temper tantrums themselves could mean she has rage issues, but the fact that she cuts her hair and other things seems a lot more serious. If she's in school, I would suggest your boyfriend get in touch with the school counselor and explain this behavior that is going on at home. Counselors are specially trained not only to work gently with young children, but also to make them feel comfortable and encourage them to share things that they might not share with their parents, friends, etc. The counselor should be able to give him some guidance from there. For example, if she feels the child has some severe emotional issues that need further exploration, she may suggest he send her to a child psychologist. Don't pass this off as silly childhood behavior. This child seems to have some serious problems and you should encourage your boyfriend to take action right away. This little girl could end up hurting herself or hurting a family member or friend. Good luck!

  • 1 decade ago

    It sounds like your boyfriends daughter knows how to work both parents. That tends to happen when the child is raised in two separate places. They have two differant parenting techniques being tryed out and kids who are in a fresh divorce are a challenge. Parents feel bad and in turn are usually a little more lax...not a bad thing...I would suggest taking the things that she is cutting away...Blankets and sounds harsh but it may work. I think she will probably grow out of it. Divorce is very hard on children and I would think that the mother has caused a little heartache with the lapse in visitation...Just give it some time and tell the little girl that you will get her a new blanket if she promises not to cut it and maybe you could just act a stable figure in her life and that may be enough for her..good luck

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Kids are alot like adults except they have no real ways of expressing what they feel or what is going on with their emotions. Obviously something is going on, and the older she gets if this is not corrected the more inward she will become. She is definitely seeking attention, and probally knows that this is the only way to get it. You may have to show her that it is not! If your not really sure on how to deal with it, and don't want to jump the gun, I would suggest that you go to a counsellor at school and tell her about the child's behaviour at home. Home is something she is having a hard time with, there may be alot more than just surface tantrums.

    Good luck

    Source(s): Being a full time step mom
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    First of all, if I'm not mistaking, you guys put too much attention into the kid, the reason they're doing that they're doing is because of the reaction you go when things go wrong, let the kid cut whatever she likes and with no yelling or saying no, stop, bad, wrong, things like that make a kid do it even more, no need for counseling, and when bed tI'me come, just tell the kid to go to bed, and you guys read a book or something, letting the kid know that you're not paying attention to whatever she's doing, im not saying not to give attention to the kid, but when things go wrong, don't react with worries, or negative, is just going to be worst. good luck!

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  • gladon
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    My three 12 months historical began having tantrum even as; she woulb be dreadful and she or he is the dimensions of 5yr historical so whilst she could get vatratewd there used to be little or no I would do however to without difficulty forget about it. Just pay no concentration to the behaviour considering any concentration whether or not confident or terrible is beneficial her. It took my daughter approximately a month to appreciate that it made no change to me whether or not she carried on; so tantrum grew to become a lot quick and not more widespread. it only a faze and it is going to cross.

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    This is not normal behavior at all. She might have a behavioral problem, or it might be because of the divorce, but for whatever reason, try to help her. If she doesn't get better, or gets worse, consider counseling.

  • 1 decade ago

    This child is in great need of some positive attention. She needs a mother. I say you and your boyfriend and her get some counseling to learn how to deal with this. This little girl is crying for help desperatley,

  • 1 decade ago

    This behavior is NOT normal. I think this child needs someone "out of the picture" to talk to. A counselor or maybe pastor at a church. Good luck!!

  • sweet
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    I think she has some deep issues with her parents being separated. She doesn't know how to express other than this way. I would get her some counceling. I do not believe this is normal behavior.

  • 1 decade ago

    It might be age. 6 is sort of a immature age. If u fell a little strong about this, u can always suggest counseling

    Source(s): I AM WOMAN!
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