Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Child behaviour related to nervousness

Over the last week I've been visiting lots of friends; what luxury.  

These friends all have two things in common:
1- kids who have gone back to school in the past few days
2- kids who in the last few weeks had started acting out

Before I go any further let me be clear, I'm no child expert; I'm a mum, I love kids, I've done graduate level courses in psychology and child development and I'm observant.

I was fascinated to hear my friends all say similar things
"xx is bored, ready to go back to school", "xx is needing so much of my attention all the time", "xx is behaving like a toddler again"

It got me thinking; how come all these kids, including Rachel, of all different ages are suddenly at the end of the holidays behaving out of character?

And then it came to me; nerves.
If all these kids were starting to get nervous about their return to school, would their behaviour make sense?

What was the 'evidence'.
- Boredom is a word used when you want more attention and adult led activity, as comfort and distraction.
- Acting like a toddler is attention seeking and emotional over-sensitivity.
- Needing more time with mum is comforting and distracting.

The behaviour which was driving my friends to distraction appeared to be emotionally led; it seemed clear to me that all our kids were being clingy and challenging because they were emotional with nerves at going back to school.  Perhaps not in a way they could identify themselves, but subconsciously felt.

It was a hypothesis and it made more sense than a sample of unrelated and personality diverse children all suddenly becoming difficult for no reason.

I spoke to Rachel about going back to school and noticed that she sought greater physical contact when we talked.  She couldn't verbally express nerves but was displaying nerves.

I spoke to a friend about my possible thoughts on her child's behaviour and after talking to the child told me that they were indeed nervous.  And just yesterday another friend confirmed my suspicions.

This is no scientific experiment, but it seems to me that when our children atypically display immature behaviour, perhaps it's them trying to tell us they're worried about something.

Just my thoughts.
Anyone else ever thought about this?


Karen said...

I totally agree with your observations, but to add to that I've also found that a lot of the behaviour is due to tiredness. Many parents, myself included, tend to slacken off the bedtime deadline and the children end up going to bed much later, but they still don't sleep later in the morning - an accumulation of 4+ weeks of this and you have a child who is extremely exhausted. As adults, we know only too well how debilitating it can be not to have a full night's good sleep and we understand our tiredness - unfortunately, our little ones don't.

eypgc said...