Has your child regressed on a life skill they were doing well at? You are not alone! Here are a few reasons why a child regresses on a life skill, and how to encourage them to get back on track.
You thought your child had mastered a certain skill.
Perhaps she had finally been potty trained.
Maybe he was doing really well at keeping his room clean every day.
But then, for some reason, it’s like everything that was learned just disappeared without a trace.
Suddenly she’s having several accidents per day and he seems to have forgotten what cleaning is.
What in the world?!
First of all, let me say that you’re not alone! It’s fairly common for kids to get the hang of a skill and then, suddenly start behaving as though they never learned that skill.
The first thing to consider is how recently they mastered the skill. It could simply be a matter of needing more practice or to revisit it.
However, it may also help to look more closely at things going on with your child and in your life as a whole.
- Have there been any big or emotional changes in your life?
- Have you had another child recently (through birth, fostering, or adoption)?
- Have you moved? Did a friend or family member move away?
- Have they recently started school or switched to a new school?
- Has anyone close to them passed away?
- Have their sleep patterns changed?
- Do they seem to be getting ill?
- Have their eating habits changed?
- Have they experienced any negative social altercations?
- Are they going through puberty or some other type of developmental growth spurt?
- Is there any marital stress that they may be picking up on?
- Do they have too many things on their to-do list (school work, homework, extracurriculars, etc)?
All of these things can lead to regression – not just in children and teens, but in adults. If you can identify a source of stress (either physical, mental, or emotional), do what you can to reduce or eliminate that stress. For example, if your child has had poor eating and sleep habits, help them get back on track by preparing healthy meals, making sure they get enough rest and ensuring they get some physical exercise. If they are overwhelmed by their to-do list, help them to focus on just the basics and eliminate anything that isn’t absolutely essential.
It also helps to talk to them to see how else you can support them as they work through whatever is going on. You should also spend more time doing fun, relaxing things with them.
And, as always, if you are truly concerned that the regression is something serious or that it could be the sign of something serious, remember that talking to your child’s pediatrician or primary physician is always an option!