Is Your Child's Behaviour Changing In Corona?
Created by Parentune Support Updated on Jul 08, 2021
This pandemic has been difficult for everyone, including the children. Most of them have been thrust into a situation they know nothing about, without much of a warning. With the feelings of helplessness, restlessness, and stress that may arise, along with a vastly different daily routine, it is no surprise that many children and teenagers exhibit behavioral changes.
Younger children and babies, especially, may find it difficult to adjust to this new way of life. They may not feel safe and might regress to an earlier stage of development. They may throw tantrums. Older children and adolescents may retreat into themselves and seem more introverted. They could be missing their friends, or missing life outside.
The pandemic could also have the opposite. You may see positive changes in your child's behaviour. They may seem happier, lighter.
It is important to recognize the changes your child is going through. Then, you can either help them move on from whatever is bothering them, or make a plan to help them keep up the positive attitude in the future. So let us understand the changes your child is going through, and the circumstances that cause them.
Changes in Babies and Toddlers
Many of the changes young kids go through are related to their development. They may resume habits you thought to be long abandoned. If this is what is going on, do not be too worried. This is a temporary setback that you and your baby can work through.
Your baby might use baby talk again, despite learning to talk properly. They may wet their bed despite being potty-trained. They may resume crawling instead of walking. They may need help with maintaining routine. They may also have trouble falling asleep.
However, the changes your baby exhibits may not be negative. Due to quarantine, babies find that their parents and siblings are home a lot more often. This makes a huge difference, especially if the parents both work.
The baby gets to spend more time with family members and form stronger bonds with them. They also get more attention than they would normally. This may cause them to be happier and more cheerful.
Changes in Older Kids and Teenagers
Changes in behaviour is often more visible in older kids and teenagers, whether these changes are negative or positive. They are more mature and therefore, able to comprehend the situation better. Teenagers also have to deal with hormones, mood swings, and puberty, making the changes in their behaviour more visible.
There is no denying that many kids suffer from mental health issues these days, which are exacerbated by the pandemic. It is not uncommon for teenagers to throw temper tantrums, and be irrational and irritable.
They may be facing more anxiety and stress than usual. This can be worse if a family member or friend has contracted the virus, or if the child is from a low-income family. The change from face-to-face classes to homeschooling will undoubtedly take some time to get used to, and even then, they may not be comfortable with it.
The rapid downward spiral of their social life and general freedom to go out will also play a part. If the child has special educational needs that the school usually provides, it can be even more difficult to adapt.
So, it is not uncommon to see these kids stressed and anxious. They may be more introverted and quiet than before, unwilling to interact with the family much. They could have mood swings and seem more irritable than usual. They can seem very lonely and sorrowful.
However, each child is different. While some are undoubtedly having a hard time, many kids exhibit much more positive changes. Several teenagers report that they feel less stressed about school work. The more lenient daily schedule seems to be helping them a lot.
Where before they would constantly be swamped with work, they now have a lot more free time to explore hobbies. They are able to learn new things they are interested in. They get more sleep, and are less exhausted all the time. They get to spend more time with family and form connections. Children who are bullied at school no longer have to go through that.
These children may seem a lot lighter and happier. They may seem more cheerful and extroverted. And any parent would feel ecstatic at their child being less nervous and anxious.
What Can You Do To Help Your Children?
If your child got the short end of the stick, and is going through negative changes, you might be worried about how you can help them. Here are a few things you can do.
Spending some time reassuring your child and spending time with them can go a long way. Help them when they need, but never stop encouraging their independence. Assure them that it is okay to sometimes make mistakes. Do not lie to them. Instead, if something is visibly worrying you, let them know in a calm, age-appropriate manner.
But make sure that not all your interactions are serious. Spend some time playing with them. You can plan some fun activities to do with the kids.
Also remember that children need structure. Come up with a daily routine that is not too rigid. Remember to discuss it with your child, if they are old enough to understand. Some feedback and ideas from them will help you come up with something that everyone can easily follow.
The main thing you need to do is give mental health the importance it deserves. Do not belittle or disregard your child’s mental health in any way. In fact, normalize it. Everyone feels anxious at some point. Many people feel sad and lonely during this time.
Work with your child to solve the problem. Help them get in touch with their friends. If their mental health is really bad, it may be a good idea to seek therapy or counselling for the child.
And when faced with a problem you cannot solve, it can be a good idea to distract yourself from it. Watch movies with them, buy them books, read with them. Help them with schoolwork, if they need it. Find new ways to relieve stress, and participate in these methods, if your child is comfortable with that.
In many ways, children imitate their parents. If you are cheerful, they will feel relaxed and safe. If you panic, they will also panic. So it is important to not take your fears out on your children. Find different outlets, and try to speak to them in a calm and rational manner.
Remember that we are all going through unpredictable times. Everyone adapts in their own way. So if your child shows changes in their behaviour, do not panic or overreact. Be calm, and remember that there is always a solution.