A lot of children start to show an increase in behavioral issues this time of year. Your child, like spring, is likely budding with renewed energy and anticipation as winter gives was to the first hints of spring.
But there are other possible contributing factors. Standardized testing is beginning, and the exhaustion of school could be getting to them. Not to mention the frustrated energy of being inside and needing more outdoor time, especially this year, which delivered a wintery-mixed March.
Whatever the reason, anxiety hits, opposition occurs, and behaviors which parents thought were safely managed, are now back in full bloom.
Try to troubleshoot and reset your child to get through the remainder of the school year. Summer is just a few months away, and it may be a matter of getting them ready and motivated to get to June.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Are they over-scheduled? Spring can be a time when sports pick up. Make sure they are not spending all their free time in structured activities, with little time to decompress after school.
- What does their sugar intake look like? Birthday parties, holidays and being inside more can trigger sugar cravings and increase stress in their adrenal glands (which means more cortisol and stress for you, too!) Try to buy healthier snacks, like popcorn – or even better – encourage them to make their own smoothies, trail mix, or baked goods. The more control they have over their snacks, the more they are likely to actual eat them.
- Are they getting outside time and movement? Make sure they have time before it gets dark to play and explore outside. Stop at the park on the way home from school. Giving kids a good hour (or even more) to connect with nature and get their energy moving can be a lifesaver for behavioral struggles.
- Limit screen time. We say this over, and over, and over. But aside from the occasional educational program or show, there is very little benefit to screen time. Except the break that you may need (so take it) and then get them engaged in something else.
- Touch base with their school. Is there any academic pressure or challenges that your child is struggling with? Sometimes the schools don’t want to worry parents, so they won’t share, but reaching out in a productive way will help you gain answers and address any academic struggles that could be increasing your child’s anxiety and negative behavior.
Let us know how you’re doing!
Contact Behaved Brain Wellness Center for a private family consultation.
Behaved Brain Wellness Center
Healthier Kids – Happier Parents