Covid 19 is affecting children’s social-emotional well being. School closure, home quarantine, lack of age appropriate activities and social interaction have globally made children feel stressed, anxious, isolated, confused, fearful and uncertain. Parental stress and adjusting to the new routine make it more of a necessity to provide emotional support, love and constructive interaction now. Some children may exhibit anger, defiance and disruptive behavior.

How can we help parents to address and deal with challenging behavior now?

  • Acknowledge and validate the specific behavior and allow the child to express himself/herself. Acknowledgement or validation does not mean accepting or approval of their inappropriate behavior. Be empathetic to the children.
  • Try to understand the emotion that prompts the behavior.
  • Provide children with choices and tips for self regulation.
  • Engage children in discussing about behavior and providing them opportunities to suggest what they can do as a better choice. Let children be the problem solver and promote leadership skills.
  • Set simple rules and explain why it is important or essential.
  • Mutually choose small goals that children can practice and attain success.
  • Pay one on one attention and use it as an effective behavior management tool.
  • Ignore any minor behavior.
  • Offer specific praise though when child exhibits acceptable behavior. This acts as a motivator and help children in developing self discipline.
  • Stay calm and be consistent.
  • Manage your own stress, exercise, eat healthy. Remember self care is essential for emotional well being, maintaining consistency and routine for children and family as well.
  • Be a positive role model and reflect on our own behavior.
  • It is essential to keep children safe online with open communication, creating safe online habits and set up parental control and privacy setting, turn on Safe Search, cover webcam when not in use (WHO)

Please feel free to share this with your parents, and I would appreciate your feedback. I will be happy to discuss more topics of your interest in the future. Please contact me for any professional development need.

Mila Sengupta
Master Trainer, Texas Trainer Registry