Parents often complain that their child is nervous, that he has “weak nerves”; at school he is often told he is “nervous.” Such a child is very irritable, sharp, impatient, and angrily responds to any request, objection, or admonition; he is very sensitive so he cries for every little thing, for the slightest failure, inconvenience, or rebuke; he is restless at work, lacks endurance or perseverance, gets angry and leaves his job if he fails immediately; at school he is distracted, careless, restless.
Underlying Causes of Nervous Behavior in Children
All these forms of behavior indicate that there is restlessness, tension, something unresolved and uncoordinated in the child’s psyche, something that increases sensitivity and irritability. Nervous behavior has different motives. But in any case, such behavior is an expression of a conflict between the child and the environment in which he develops.
Age-Related Incidence of Nervousness in Children
Nervousness most often occurs in the 5th and 8th years, in the 5th year probably because the first phase of physiological defiance reaches its culmination, so conflicts with educators are exacerbated to the greatest extent; at the age of 8, probably because the child is facing a heavy workload, with school.
The Role of Spoiling in Nervous Behavior in Children
In our cases, extremely nervous children are in most cases (47 out of 66 and 71.2%, respectively) very spoiled. Their irritability, hypersensitivity and restlessness grow in parallel with the demands that educators place on the child and with reprisals that attack the lack of independence and lack of initiative of the spoiled child.
Case Studies of Nervous Behavior in Children
A characteristic example is little Ben who started to change when he went to school. By that time he had been taught that all his work was done by others in his place. His mother dressed, washed and fed him. And now he had to take care of himself. Ben did not manage, the school has become a nightmare that always threatens insurmountable difficulties.
The example of 9-year-old Jimmy is also instructive. Two years ago, he contracted bone tuberculosis. He was sent to hospital for treatment, from where he returned only a few months ago. As much as the parents rejoiced at the return of their child, they were as disappointed in his conduct.
Nervous Behavior in Puberty and Adolescence
Irritability and hypersensitivity occur in both puberty and adolescence.
Case Study of Nervous Behavior in Adolescence
So the high school administration sent us a 16-year-old girl for counseling. Teachers have noticed that Ada has been very irritable lately, she is often in a bad mood, she cries at any objection, she has lost the will to learn, and she has become rude to her colleagues.
The Role of Upbringing in Nervous Behavior in Children
We learned that Ada has always been a somewhat capricious, vain, egocentric and spoiled creature. At home, she was the only girl among the three brothers, so she was her parents ’favorite. She was always a beautiful child, so her surroundings were happy to court her and emphasize the value of her appearance.
Other Motives for Nervous Behavior in Children
Some other motives for nervous behavior may appear in children. Thus, for example, persistent suppression of masturbation, punishment of children for sexual games and strict prohibition of any sexual interest can also cause irritability, guilt, as well as resistance to the environment and fear of one’s own aspirations and desires. Then it is understandable that the child reacts explosively due to constant mental tension, and that he is distracted and careless, because he is too preoccupied with his personal problems.