Behavioural changes in teens: Is it alarming?

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Behavioural changes in teens: Is it alarming?

A growing child, especially one in his teen years, is quite a handful for any parents. They undergo rapid transformations, both physically and emotionally, which is why it is important to keep an eye on their behaviour and notice sudden changes.

Changes usually indicate that your child is going through something, and he needs to know that he can get the appropriate care and support he deserves from his parents during this difficult phase of his life.

Secretive behaviour: A little secrets from parents is okay, like crushes and school gossip. But if your child starts hiding physical wounds, or shuts his laptop down as soon as you enter the room, then there may be cause to worry. More often than not, children don’t share secrets with parents because of fear of being punished or chastised, or more commonly because they fear you won’t believe them

Scolding will be of no help, so try and be understanding for a change. Sometimes, all your child needs is a hug and a lending ear to share his woes with, and if you can give him that support, you’ll soon enough be his newest best friend.

Lying: Yes, it’s not unusual for children to lie, but when they start lying even about the smallest of things that they know you can easily find out about, then it’s a cause for concern. Do not confuse make-believe with lying – making up stories is children’s way of unleashing their creativity.

But if your child starts misbehaving, lies about broken cutlery around the house or bruises on his body, then be careful. Many times the fear of punishment forces them to lie, which is why you should assure them that nothing will happen if they just tell you the truth. It just means you need to make him trust you.

Aggressive behaviour: Biting and hitting, especially in young boys, is not unheard of. In mild cases, it can be taken as an expression of joy. Instead of shouting at them, smile and tell them that complaining about their friends to you is better than biting them because you can sort out the problem.

Persistence of such aggressive behaviour can be a cause of underlying emotional stress, like grief or anger. In such cases, nothing works better than to sit down with them and talk to them about what they’re going through.

Throwing tantrums: These again are a part of the growing up of children, but if the frequency of the tantrums starts becoming intense, it is a cause for worry.

This change in demeanour might again indicate emotional stress, or it could simply mean that your child’s every whim and fancy is given in to, as a result of which their demands started escalating. You need to step in and make it very clear to your child that such behaviour will not be tolerated.

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