Is My Child Disturbed?

A Chinese mother once saw me with her child. Sobbing, she asked for help because her son had become self-destructive and disrespectful. Marked by impulsive behaviors, the son would shout at her and shut down on several occasions during our session. Here I was with a hurt mother and a child at high risk for developing emotional problems as an adult.

How do I know if my child is character-disturbed and in need of help? There are, of course, telling symptoms recognizable right away, like the one above. But in other children, it will take time to decipher. The earlier the "signs" are noticed and addressed, the better will be the prospects for healing and wholeness for your children.

Let me offer some of those "signs" here in spotting a wounded, character-disturbed, or attachment-injured child in need of help and support. The more of these symptoms a child has, the more severe is the condition:

*  Self-destructive behavior
*  Stealing
*  Hoarding and gorging on food
*  Cruelty to others
*  Lack of long-term friends
*  Marked impulse control problems
*  Phoniness
*  Speech difficulties or pathology
*  Abnormalities in eye contact
*  Lack of ability to give and receive affection
*  Obsession with blood, fire. gore, or things of darkness
*  Learning disorders
*  Lying and deceiving
*  Superficial attractiveness
*  Extreme friendliness with strangers
*  Isolation and withdrawal
*  Disrespect and rage against parents
*  School crime, bullying, or misbehavior
*  Severe depression, crying spells