Difference In A Serious Disorder or Just A Brat

by Aly Pierce
(Houston, TX)

How can you tell the difference if it's bipolar or misbehaving? You don't want to overlook either one, but you sure don't want to give punishment when it isn't something that can be helped. This is a very difficult problem. My sister's Granddaughter is 3 and has already been tossed out of preschool for hitting the teacher. There's so much to it, but I hope that someone can help.

Thanks, Aly

Hi Aly

Bipolar disorder in children is marked by symptoms of depression, mood disturbance and fluctuation and mania. Children who are bipolar often have sleep disruption and a family history of bipolar disorder. Children who are bipolar also frequently have tantrums that are extremely protracted, they can last for hours and their behavior is similar to that of a child who might be possessed.

Now a child who is bipolar who is misbehaving can often struggle if they are unstable. My advice until a child is stable, about parenting, is to draw the line over several things they won’t accept, like, physical violence for example. There must be a consequence even though the child’s behavior was influenced by their mood state. The consequence can vary, but my recommendation is that it not be a punishment, but a logical consequence. A child who has school behavior is usually consequence by the school, making it unnecessary to do that at home as well.

Good Luck


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