It is very difficult to define a badly-behaved child. So much depends on the objective attitude of the parents and their view of their child. To establish if a child has a behavioural problem requires the following criteria to be met.

The parents, close friends and, if the child is of school age, a teacher must all express concern.

The child must display some antisocial or self-harming behavioural patterns, such as aggression or self-inflicted wounds, inappropriate behaviour with regard to a particular situation, excessive crying or irritability, poor food intake, or cruelty to animals.

Bad behaviour may not be a psychological problem. It has been established that many deficiencies and some toxicities can create a problem. Studies in the prison population have shown that slight alterations through the use of supplemental medicine can have a profound effect on the behaviour of prisoners and this hypothesis has been supported by several small studies on children.

Toxins, especially lead and therefore, by inference, other heavy metals such as mercury, may cause an effect. Refined sugars and other aspects of poor nutrition may lead to hypoglycaemic states, which can create irritability and therefore poor behaviour. All of these aspects must be taken into consideration.


See Hyperactivity and Attention deficit disorder.

Many psychological problems are created by deficiencies. Ensure that the child is getting the following supplements in divided doses each day in combination with a well-balanced diet: zinc (2mg per foot of height); multi-B complex as recommended by a nutritionist or pharmacist; vitamin C (lg per foot of height); and any trace element supplement as recommended for the weight and age of your baby by the health food shop or pharmacist.

Homeopathy is marvellous if the correct remedy is chosen. It is preferable to be accurate and therefore the use of a homeopath is required.

Remove processed foods: foods containing high sugar or salt content, additives, preservatives and caffeine.

Rule out dyslexia. See Dyslexia.

If a behavioural problem is established and the matter is not one of ill-discipline, then I recommend art or music therapy for all child psychological problems.

If response is not forthcoming with the above treatments and therapies, there are specialized behavioural clinics with which the child psychologist or your GP will be able to put you in touch.