Kids Health

10 Signs Your Child Should Need a Therapist

Being a parent, you can easily deal with many phases in your child’s life, but there are certain phrases that need the attention of someone rather than a parent, perhaps a therapist. Children can suffer from mental health problems just like anyone else. Children are equally affected and suffer from anxiety and depression like adults.

Although you are very close with your child, sometimes your child may feel uncomfortable sharing everything. And it’s okay because that’s where the therapist comes to the rescue. You must acknowledge that your children need help, and you should give them a chance to be heard and understood.

Adults have many ways of expressing themselves. They can even indicate exactly how they are feeling. However, children may not even know what they are feeling. Usually, children have emotional phases like periods of a bad mood, problems with their friends. Moreover, this pandemic has brought the feeling of being isolated in quarantine which has made your child struggle with more difficult emotions. This is why it is important to listen to your child and beware of any of these warning signs.

How do you know if your child might need therapy?

There are more visible signs and symptoms associated with physical pain than mental pain. However, let’s look at some of the signs that there may be a mental health problem and needs the attention of a professional therapist. Not all of them guarantee a mental health problem, but by looking at signs, what your child tells you, you can better visualize and make decisions for your children.

1. Constant anger

Children tend to be passionate about different issues. Their parents know their children have to go through whining, but if the child is abusing anger, you should be thinking about this behavior. This may indicate signs of childhood anxiety, nervousness. The therapist can easily identify the cause of your child’s anger and suggest solutions that are more appropriate.

2. Overreacting

An overreaction is a psychological reaction carried out by the child’s mind. It is a way of expressing their inner feelings. There is an internal uncomfortable that the child usually experiences in these situations, and that’s- Threatening. Social discomfort causes them to lose control in many situations that result in undisciplined behavior. Psychologists can help them understand their reactions and make them realize that the environment they are in is in no way harmful to them.

3. Persistent sadness

If a child gets upset about unfamiliar problems or concerns, we need to go deeper to discover the initial conflict. If possible, we should ask them for the reasons behind their sadness. If there is no consolation with parents or those who cannot find peace in their own home need to see the therapist as soon as possible.

4. Drop-in grades

A sudden drop in grades is a thing to be concerned about. Normally, grades reflect a child’s emotional stability rather than academic performance, especially for younger children. Sometimes it can be the result of bullying, but talking about 3-4 years old children, it can be for personal reasons. However, you may first consult with the class teacher and visit the psychologist.

5. Unable to concentrate

Many children have a habit of daydreaming, but in the end, they still manage to do their homework on time. You should pay attention if their concentration level drops too low, to the point that your child cannot stand still, is easily distracted, and has difficulty in learning. In such cases, a therapist can figure out the problems in just a few sessions.

6. Changes in sleep patterns

From infants to more independent children, it is very important that, being parents, we need to help them develop healthy sleeping habits. Irregular bed hours will create behavioral problems. The relationship between emotional development and sleep quality is really important. Not getting enough sleep at an early age can affect a child’s brain development and so do daily activities. If your child is having trouble falling asleep or constantly getting tired, you should see a therapist.

7. Hyperactivity

Sometimes it seems that children have limitless energy. However, Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is characterized by significantly short periods of attention, which can also mean frequent anxiety and an inability to focus on one task, often leading to problems. Some children also show signs of destructive impulsive behavior. Again, not all hyperactive children have ADHD, but when this behavior begins to disrupt daily life, psychiatric medications can relieve these symptoms by allowing the child to concentrate better.

8. Depression

Depression comes in many ways, but it manifests itself as feelings of hopelessness, sadness, or guilt. Children may also experience significant mood changes. Depression can also cause significant changes in eating and sleeping habits. For some children, depression is a temporary situation. But children who are going through a divorce or having trouble with friends at school may show some symptoms of depression. However, when it begins to affect your daily life, it may be time to talk to your doctor. People with major depression or bipolar disorder are at increased risk of suicide. About 90% of suicides are associated with mental illness.

9. Regressing

Children often regress after major life changes, such as moving or divorce between their parents. However, regressive symptoms such as bedwetting, excessive fear, tantrums, and attachment unrelated to changes may indicate a problem.

10. Talking about Deaths

It’s okay for kids to explore the concept of death and talk about it with curiosity, but talking about death and dying over and over again is a sign of danger. If you listen to statements of suicide or thoughts of killing another person, then immediately seek others for help. You can contact National Suicide Prevention Lifeline for support and assistance from a trained counselor.

Benefits of Therapy

Seeking help from a professional is something that many people consider, especially when your child:

  • faced a long period of anxiety or depression
  • faced a major life change
  • faced difficult family dynamics
  • faced problems in relationships
  • wants to improve mental and emotional health

What Happens in Therapy?

The therapist will first meet with you and your child to talk, ask questions, and listen to your children. This will help them learn more about your child and the actual problem. During therapist sessions, your child may:

Talk – Talking is a healthy way to express emotions. When children express their feelings in words rather than actions, they can do whatever they can. When someone listens and knows how they are feeling, children are better equipped to learn.

Follow the action – Therapists use classes to teach emotions and coping skills. They can allow children to paint or play as a way of learning. They can teach mindfulness as a way to reduce stress.

Practice new skills – Therapists help children practice what they are learning. They can play games in which children need to wait their turn, exercise self-control, follow directions, listen and try again.

Problem-solving – With older children, the therapist asks how problems affect them at home and at school and how to deal with them.

How Can Parents Help their Children?

There are many things that parents can do:

  • Find a therapist or psychologist with whom you and your child will be comfortable.
  • Make sure your child attends all appointments. Positive change does not happen overnight, and it may take several sessions to help your child.
  • Meet with your child’s therapist in person and discuss your child’s treatment plan. Ask what to do if your child misbehaves at home.
  • Spend time with your children – Talk to them and ask if they need any help. Do what they enjoy, be it playing games, listening to music, or just laughing. Be patient with your children and give them the time they need. You should praise when your child is doing well.

Final Words:

Working with a professional therapist who works exclusively with children not only gives your child the skills and tools they need to succeed but also helps you raise better children. Finding help for your child doesn’t have to be exhausting and emotionally draining.

There’s a Children’s Bureau that offers a wide range of counseling programs and services for your child under the age of 21. The sooner you identify signs that your child needs a therapist, the sooner you can get the help they need. With the signs listed above, you can be sure you know what to look out for when it comes to your child’s mental health.

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