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How to safeguard your single child from behavioral problems?

Safeguard single child from behavioral problems
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How to safeguard your single child from behavioral problems?

Pandemic has been harsh on all of us but kids are the ones who have suffered the most. Their golden period of life is almost ruined, especially for those who are without any siblings.

It’s difficult for young minds to fully understand the ongoing situation. All they understand is that they are being caged. Kids are like free birds who love to explore the world around them.

The restrictions of going out and confinement has invited behavioral issues amongst kids aged (3- 10). The lack of support that these children receive is one of the crucial reason for their more pronounced psychological symptoms. Pandemic has curbed the support system that parents had earlier which has augmented the stress level in them. There is disruption in the balance between, work, home and raising kids. The stress that parents experience is directly or indirectly is transferred to kids which further creates behavioral issues in them. In such situation, how to safeguard your single child from behavioral problems?

What is normal behaviour for a child ?

Normal behavior in children depends on child’s age, personality , physical and emotional development. A child’s behavior may be a problem if it doesn’t matches with the expectations of the family. Normal or “good” behavior is usually determined by whether its socially, culturally and developmentally appropriate. Knowing what to expect from your child at each age will help you decide whether his or her behavior is normal.

However, there is no exact definition for behavioral problems. According to Achenbach et al. It is broadly divided into

“Internalizing” and “Externalizing”.

Internalizing Behavioral Problems

Behavioral problems that are directed from internal like anxiety, sadness, depression, complaining of somatic pains frequently some specific phobias. These behavioural changes are mostly seen in girls.

Externalizing Behavioural Problems

Externalizing problems on the other hand are defined as aggressive, oppositional, and delinquent behavior.

Mostly, boys face this kind of behavioral changes.

“Kids cannot always articulate their feelings and are less developed in their ability to problem solve’ , says Jacqueline Smith, PsyM a psychology extern at the Child Study Centre. “Their stress can therefore show up as disruptive behavior, noncompliance and tantrums”.

Common Behavioral Problems

  • Anxious/ depressed
  • Withdrawn/ depressed
  • Somatic Complaints
  • Social Problems
  • Thought Problems
  • Attention Problems
  • Rule Breaking Behavior
  • Aggressive Behavior

Preventive Strategies for Parents to safeguard their single child from Behavioral problems

Addressing your child’s disruptive behavior is not only about responding – its also about proactive strategies to decrease the likelihood of challenges. The tools mentioned below can help you to minimize triggers that lead to tantrums :

  • Fixed Routine – It helps a child to be more disciplined. Eat, sleep an move. The basics are more important than ever. Ensure that your child is maintaining good sleep, eating healthy and doing regular exercises. Ways to incorporate predictability can include creating a visual daily schedule that your child can reference through out the day. Chalking out a time table helps a lot to little grown up children aged from ( 5- 12 yrs)
  • Make time for quality time – When time and resources permit parent should spend time with their children it only helps to bond well but it will help parents to set limits down the road. Playing with them or helping them doing some fun activity or crafts. I ensure to narrate a story or play scrabble with my kids in the afternoon. Over the weekends my husband plays football with them.
  • Appreciate your child – Reward or appreciate your child when he/she behaves well . This would motivate them to repeat the action in future too. Many a times repeated instructions as well as explanation, does not help a child to be disciplined. At times Rewards does that magic. Here’s my reward board and this motivates them to do all their tasks enthusiastically for the fortnight gift they would get with more points and stars. Getting more stars becomes their mantra and parents achieve their target by training them to be more disciplined.
Reward board to encourage a child to do his daily task.
Reward Board
  • Offer your child a choice – Let them make minor decision for eg. what dress to wear or in which corner to have his quiet reading. Making decisions will enhance their sense of control.
  • Breaking down complex Tasks – Breakdown of complex task into small and doable activity. This gives them confidence and makes them feel more responsible.

Deescalating Conflict and Responding to Disruptive behaviour

If your child is upset but calm enough to engage in conversation, conflict can be difused by helping her identify her emotion.

‘Validation’ does not mean approval to negative behavior but only to address the emotion that the child is having during the conflict. Making your child feel heard can diffuse the conflict without any meltdowns. Parent’s attention can be used as an effective behavior management tool. However, negative attention like scolding can feed behavior problem. If the child is engaged in minor misbehaviors like whining, try turning away and staying quiet. The moment he behaves in an acceptable manner , give a praise like ” Thank you for asking in a nice voice’ or ” I will give you more juice”.

Remember that ignoring negative behavior works best when used with positive attention for acceptable behavior.

Self care and managing your own stress

“Love yourself first and everything falls in line”.

How True is that !!

We can make others happy only when we are from inside. A stressed out parent directly or indirectly transfers the stress to their children which aggravates their behavioral problems.

Its important for parents to relax and find ways to distress themselves or else problems just gets amplified.

Create a list of doable self-care activities that can be built to suit your work life balance. A 10 mins morning stretch or reading for pleasure before going to bed or anything else that gives you a peace of mind .

By managing your own distress , you are setting better access to your parenting toolkit in the moment.

Daily self-care routine can have a meaningful and restorative impact.

Additional Resources for Parents

The following books can help a parent who have a child with a behavioral problem:

  • Parenting the strong Willed Child by Rex Forehand and Nicholas long
  • The Explosive Child by Ross Greene
  • The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary
  • How to talk so kids will listen & listen so kids will talk by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish

Every parent – child relationship is unique and different . The strategies mentioned above is to help parents but they are not the only means to develop a healthy and blooming relationship. A parent has to understand his child before devising any strategy to handle child’s behavioral problem.

You can also read:

What Actually makes you a Cool Mom

This blog post is part of both the #causeachatter as well as #MyfriendAlexa campaign hosted by @Blogchatter.

We are proud to announce that “Womb2cradlenbeyond” is being featured in the TOP 25 Indian Mom blogs of 2021 on the web by

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69 thoughts on “How to safeguard your single child from behavioral problems?

  1. That board to keep track of the target is such a good idea, and I agree, a routine does wonders for all of us. It brings so much perspective.

    1. True, a routine always helps to bring out the best in you and a great way to manage your time efficiently.

    1. Hoping best for you and am sure once they hit the teens maturity sets in. I am pre-schoolers mom so just experimenting around.

  2. Very well put and articulated. Thanks for sharing this pointers. It will be helpful to moms, considering there is still some time until outr kids gets to go back to sc hool. A routine is certainly a must, that surely helps, because like you mentioned kids have sufffered the most due to the pandemic.

  3. Congratulations Debidutta on being featured 25 Indian mom blogs. Kids have surely suffered the worst during the pandemic and lockdowns. I am sure your post would be helpful for parents.

  4. This is one of the most detailed posts i have read on this subject. You have covered all aspects with example and description. I love the pic of the whiteboard u put. A very well researched article
    Deepika Sharma

    1. Thanks dear, so far the whiteboard is showing its magic. Hope soon it becomes a habit and i dont have to chase them around.

    1. I realized this during the pandemic more, as they are twins my kids never felt the urge of going out or having friends.

  5. This is an extremely important and relevant post for all parents. This pandemic has been very emotionally difficult and will leave its stamp for long. This post will help all parents in dealing with children.

  6. Very well written post. So, children have suffered the most in this pandemic. They are too young to understand why they are cooped up. This post would be a great help to parents.

  7. Very informative helpful post for all the parents , handling so many behavioral issues with their single child especially during Pandemic. Wonderful post!

    1. Do try it? It has worked well on my twins. The main idea is to implement discipline and make it a habit.

  8. This is very insightful and there is no mark where one can measure a child to know about their behaviour. It’s only us parents who can know if there is an issue and the behaviour turns to be a flag highlighting it.

  9. Every cliff is unique and their is no set started to deal with it. So it is imperative to understand their mind set and according behave. Give them an environment where they do not hesitate to share and express. Lovrd the post

  10. Appreciating a child is so important to prevent behavioral problems…this can be said for adults too…nice post!

  11. Single children suffered the most during the pandemic. You have shared some great tips. I really like your board system. A great way to motivate the kids.

    1. Thanks Ma’am , Till now its showing its magic its been a month now and i am happy with the results.

  12. Addressing the problem in a manner that both child and parent are on the same page is so important, the detailed post has mant insights for parents to learn. Congratulations Debi for the Top 25 blogs.

    1. Thanks, it has worked magic for us . Hope it works for you too. I can see them following rather breaking it as there is a perk involved. The intention is to make it a habit .

  13. This is such an interesting and informative post! Your tips will help parents to understand their children and help them through periods of stress, like the pandemic.

    1. True, having siblings is a blessing especially during this horrific pandemic times. I realized this when i saw my twins, they never missed their friends or school.

  14. The pandemic has definitely been horrible for so many and the impact on children of all ages has been massive whether it was not being able to go to school or meet their friends. I like the way you have prepared the board to tackle the challenges which children would face. I am sure it has proved to be very useful.

  15. Congratulations and that’s a well-deserved accolade! I’m so glad to have found your blog because it’s packed with useful information. My child tends to whine a lot and only recently, I realised it’s because I react to his whining. Will fix that.

  16. Character ,Personality, behaviour all have some genetic and environmental influences. By seven years of age discipline is needed to be taught.Otherwise physiologically it becomes a challenge. Interesting and helpful insights.

  17. Really liked that board, may just borrow the idea. As you mentioned it is important to appreciate child’s efforts that we sometimes overlook. It is necessary for parents to be better equipped in today’s age by reading such resourceful posts.

    1. Thanks dear. Actually being a twin mom I realized I have to devise something that they would be excited to follow rather than treat it as a ruleand break it often. So far its working for me.

  18. This is something I have been thinking about since my nephew started homeschooling. The prime days – when he should be making friends – he’s stuck inside. Your points are so workable – even for adults!

    1. I am a twin mom and its quite challenging to keep them disciplined. So devised these trucks that is working like magic. No screaming and yelling. Glad that you liked it.

  19. Good points on engaging children, somewhere COVID has also added to the stress and situation should be handled well so parents are children’s supporters. A lot needs to be done in this area and hope we all as parents follow some of the points shared so we make a child’s growth stress free and healthy.

  20. Loved the reward board idea. We can’t dictate them and make them follow what we want. We need to be creative and smart to handle these situations.
    I really liked your post.

    1. Thankyou, I am glad that you liked it and found it useful. Yes, dictating them never works out . So far things are working well .

  21. A very informative and much needed post for parents. This information is the need of the hour, with the Pandemic being so harsh on kids.

    1. True, Mayuri. The ongoing pandemic has robbed a part of the golden period from the lives of the kids.

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