Behavioural Changes/issues in Teens During Covid-19 - Dr. Parul Kathuria

May 18, 2021

With so much changes happening outside, in the country and worldwide, some changes inside are bound to happen. The outbreak of this coronavirus pandemic has created an atmosphere of stress and chaos. It has impacted everyone from small to big. The fact that there is lockdown,restricted mobility night curfews, scarcity of resources, poor facilities and conditions, low opportunities, financial loss, morbidity and deaths happening around, has generated feeling of uncertainty ,boredom, emotional turmoil  and set a very low emotional tone putting most of us in a low health status - Physically, Psychologically and emotionally as well. It has been quite some time that we are introduced to what is called the new normal but actually we haven't really got adapted to it.This change and instability has created a negative impact on us and we all are witnessing some unhealthy or what we call as dysfunctional behaviours. We see a rise in certain types of behaviour, behaviours that are manifestations and indications of something not going right somewhere. These behaviour may range from irritability, anger issues, frequent mood swings, arguing, defying, replying back,physical and aggression and abuse, hyperactivity, impulsivity, restlessness,boredom, temper tantrums, emotional eating or binge eating, starving or low appetite, excessive crying, sadness, withdrawal, overthinking, excessive preoccupation, repetitive behaviours, psychosomatic issues, fatigue ability and lethargy, low tolerance ,frustration, low arousal or hyperarousal, sleeplessness or oversleeping, addiction , alcohol abuse , verbal and physical abuse. While,Some of them is done consciously whereas others are beyond the awareness and control but definitely needs attention and an appropriate Intervention. With such a scenario, It is good to invite your child to talk about what he is feeling and encourage him to share directly by (having an open dialogue, sharinga narrative) or indirectly such as through an activity , story telling ,etc. They might be depressed , hopeless,feeling suicidal, scared, uncertain and angry, tensed or may be feeling alone, emotionally broken and disturbed. Pick up those signs and talk to them about it and see how you can comfort them by also helping them develop a support system around them. Being available,approachable and patient enough and giving them the right space and medium to communicate as to what they want to say and express. Be respectful of their emotions and try to have an open mindset and approach while listening to them.A non judgemental approach , not seeing things in Black and white and accepting them wholeheartedly is the key. Being considerate about their issues is the best way you can deal with your teen’s problems. Having a collaborative approach by Being friendly to the child can do lot of wonders and be a life changing experience for some. Reprimanding or using punitive measure would not solve the purpose and may rather aggravate the problems. It may do no good andrather create a gap between you and your child which is detrimental for both you and your child’s well being.

PS- If any unhealthy or dysfunctional behaviour persists and qualifies to cause distress and harm to oneself or others, Please reach out for your child to a specialist and set yourself and your child free from such uncomfortable state. The early the intervention, the better it is.