Do you notice changes in your child’s behavior? Treat the signs as alarms

Have you noticed any changes in your child’s behavior recently? Well, behavior is the way an individual acts or behaves, especially towards others in response to a particular situation or stimulus. A growing child, especially a teen, undergoes rapid physical and emotional transformations. It is important to monitor the child’s behavior and notice sudden changes.

According to Dr. Elaprolu Madhavi, Clinical Psychologist/Behavioral Therapist, Fernandez Child Development Center (FCDC), a change in a child’s behavior is related to everything they go through.

Parents need to make the child understand the need and availability of appropriate care and support during this difficult stage of their lives, the expert adds.

What is the problematic behavior in children?

Behavior may be described as challenging or unwanted when the behavior is inappropriate for the child’s age, stage of development, or cultural background. It should be cause for concern when a child’s behavior interferes with the rights of others or causes harm or danger to the child, other children, adults or living things.

“As a parent, you should consider it a serious problem if you find that your child is trying to harm the physical environment, has learning problems, has problems in relationships or starts to appear shy or negative,” says Dr. Madhavi.

Signs of a problematic child
Know when it is a sign of trouble. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Warning signs related to a child’s behavior

Radical changes in behavior or personality
* He argues a lot or asks a lot of questions
* Sibling rivalry
* Irrelevant speech when questioned
* Easy to get upset or nervous
* Avoiding activities they were interested in
* Avoid contact with eyes
* Spend more time on social media (watching pornography or gaming and betting)
* Often appears angry
* Blaming others/jealousy towards others, low self-esteem regarding their skills
* Having trouble dealing with frustration
* Frequent tantrums and outbursts
* Feelings of sadness
Isolation and social withdrawal
Self-harm, including suicidal thoughts, or threats to harm oneself or others
* Damage or damage to property
* Lying or stealing
* Not doing well in school, skipping classes
* Tolerating smoking, drinking, drug use, or sexual activity
Constant hostility to authority figures
* Weight fluctuations
Changes in appetite, eating disorders, and avoidance of eating at home
* Neglecting personal hygiene and appearance
* Speech related issues Like stammering/stammering or messy
* Trouble sleeping late at night
* Complaints from schools
* Procrastinating academic activities.
* Problems with peer group, friends, or relationship problems

Depression in children
Many experiences can lead to mental health problems in children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Causes of behavioral changes in a child

Dr. Madhavi explains that both internal and external factors may be the root cause of the sudden shift in your child’s behaviour.

Internal factors include biological factors, emotional development and temperament of the child. Even an existing disability can affect a child’s social and emotional health. Other causes can include hormonal changes, depression, anxiety, and exposure to drugs and alcohol.

External factors include parenting patterns, family relationships, sibling rivalry, changes in family circumstances, recent traumatic event, bullying, body shaming, criticism, physical abuse, sexual abuse, limited social experiences, family or cultural expectations, transition/adaptation issues, and financial crisis.

How to manage difficult child behavior

1. Practice common stimuli, including the environment or with certain people.

2. Teach them coping strategies like breathing control, relaxation techniques or counting to reduce stress.

3. Stay alert and try to anticipate problems.

4. Avoid Parents’ anxiety and anger

5. Parents should give children a chance to express their feelings and problems and not judge them and guide their children to solve them by giving them options rather than pressure them to do so.

6. Motivating the child to develop problem-solving skills, decision-making and dealing with his fears.

Communication with children
Keep communication channels open with your children. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

7. Encourage the child to appropriate behaviors and focus more on the child’s strengths.

8. Avoid aggressive communication and maintain assertive communication.

9. Parents should plan to spend time with the family where each family member can share their concerns and discuss solutions

10. Create a strong support network of family and friends. Seek professional help and guidance from professionals, if necessary.

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