Managing Behavioural Issues in Children while Self-isolating

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Managing Behavioural Issues in Children while Self-isolating

Last updated: Tuesday, May 19, 2020 | 6 min reading time

As a parent, you may be facing challenges with children who have difficulties adapting to lifestyle changes caused by COVID-19. Learn how to manage behavioural issues that may arise in children while practising self-isolation.

What are considered child behavioural issues?

Your child's bad behaviour at home may be a problem if it doesn't line up with your family's expectations or if it interrupts your family's daily life and activities. However, what you deem as a problematic behavioural issue may just be normal behaviour in a child of that age.

"Good" behaviour is largely considered to be how a child should appropriately behave at their stage of development. Understanding what to expect from your child at each stage of development will help you decide whether or not their behaviour is normal.

Parents are often concerned with tantrums, emotional outbursts and violent behaviour in children.

Reasons for behavioural issues at home

1. Lifestyle changes

2. Stress in parental figure

3. Change in parenting style

4. Attention

How to handle difficult behaviour?

Handle child behaviour

Addressing your child's difficult behaviour is key to changing it for the better. As a parent, you need to clearly tell them where the acceptable boundaries are and when they've crossed them. It is also important to help them differentiate between what's right and what's wrong from an early age.

Children learn by looking at what you, or the people around them, do. When you behave rationally and use healthy coping strategies, your child learns to do the same.

1. Reward good behaviour

To help your child understand what you want from them, reward them when they are behaving well. Rewards don't necessarily have to be in material form. Simple verbal affirmations such as "good job" or "I'm proud of you" in response to good behaviour can make a big difference.

Some parents make the mistake of only giving their children attention when they are behaving badly. Pointing out good behaviours and praising your children when they are doing something right helps to reinforce your expectations of them.

2. Discourage bad behaviour

You do not have to directly punish your children for them to understand that what they are doing is wrong. You can reduce bad behaviour by simply ignoring them when they act up.

However, this is only feasible if you are already giving them lots of attention when they behave well.

This method is called "planned ignoring". It involves not giving any verbal or non-verbal attention to your children when they act up. Once they stop behaving badly, immediately reward them with positive attention such as by saying, "Now that you are quiet, we can start playing again."

As parents, do not

Parent child behaviour do not

1. Assume your children know what you're thinking

2. Make big life changes without warning

3. Respond late

4. Overreact

More than just being restless

If your child is not responsive to your attempts, and is problematic for seemingly no reason, consider the possibility that they may have an underlying medical condition such as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

What is ADHD?

Child behaviour ADHD

ADHD refers to a neurodevelopmental disorder that can affect your child's behaviour. The following are symptoms of ADHD, and may be difficult to differentiate from normal bad behaviour, making it hard to diagnose.

Symptoms of ADHD

1. 'Selfish' behaviour

2. Emotional outbursts

3. Fidgeting

4. Inability to focus

5. Symptoms in multiple settings

When to see a paediatrician?

All children may behave badly, especially when faced with changes to their routine or home environment. It is part of the normal learning process in child development.

However, consider consulting a paediatrician if your child:

ADHD can be managed with the right treatment. If your child is diagnosed with this condition, take the time to review all of the options available to help them cope with their daily life.

What You Can Do to Change Your Child's Behavior. Retrieved on 03/05/2020 from

Dealing with child behaviour problems. Retrieved on 03/05/2020 from

How to Shape & Manage Your Young Child's Behavior. Retrieved on 03/05/2020 from

Managing Problem Behavior at Home. Retrieved on 03/05/2020 from

Legg, T. (2020) 14 Signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Retrieved on 03/05/2020 from

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Children Happiness & mental wellness