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Weird behaviors in kids during Coronavirus

Parents of kids ages 2-13 are calling frequently right now because they are observing some strange behaviors of which they aren’t sure how to handle.

Katie Zuverink, clinical director and parenting specialist shares with us why these behaviors are happening and what to do about them.

Five Specific behaviors in children we are seeing:

  1. Hyperactivity – My kid is going 100 miles per hour, way faster than normal. This is more that being cooped up. When kids are feeling anxious, they feel jumpy, they move a lot.
  2. Clingy – Not wanting to go to bed in our own bed at night. Following you around the house as you do chores. Picking one parent and favoring that parent. Kids are feeling lots of extra anxiety and worries – and appropriately so. This is a hard time for everyone. When they are being clingy, it’s because they feel calmer and safer when you’re nearby. They want to have that feeling all the time.
  3. Changes in sleep – This is common when there are big changes to routine. Try really hard to set a bedtime and get up time. Have grace for yourself if you don’t follow it occasionally, be fluid as your household needs to be.
  4. Grumpy – For littler kids, this looks like not wanting to do anything, only wanting to be on a screen. For older kids, this looks like being sassy, talking back. Try to be patient with your kids. It’s okay to say “Look, I get that this is a hard time, but it’s not okay for you to be rude to me” and prompt them to try their statement again.
  5. Big behaviors – Obstinance, arguing constantly, big fits. These show up because the kids are pushing boundaries because they need to know where the limit is. This is not a conscious thought process. It’s a developmental phase that kids often move in and out of as big stressors come and go. Katie gives tips for managing those behaviors.

You guys are excellent parents. Hang in there!

If you have specific questions, feel free to email us at grandrapids@wefixbrains.com. If you need more support, check out our parenting support groups listed on our Groups page.

 

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