Raising a child is not easy. Nothing really prepares a person for the hardships of parenting. It is one of those concepts we never truly understand until we are a parent with a child. Because of the stigma around going to a therapist in some cultures, It can be especially difficult to come to the realization our child may need to start counseling.
Children can be dealing with a multitude of events that are affecting them negatively. Some examples of issues children face are bullying, school stress, friend drama, and family stress. Children might be scared or embarrassed to ask for help, so as a parent it is important to look out for signs that your child might need help. If this is the case, and your child is showing signs of distress, please know that as a parent, you are not alone, and that you are doing what is best for your child by acting quickly and getting them the counseling support that they need.
But, how do you know if your child needs counseling? Below is a list of some certain signs to look out for (please note, if there is a sign that is not on the list, reach out to a therapist and get some guidance)
11 SIGNS YOUR CHILD NEEDS COUNSELING
1) Difficulty getting along with others or making friends: If you notice your child is suddenly having issues with getting along with peers or seems to be struggling in the area of friendships, it may be time to take action. Friend quarrels and issues are a part of childhood, but isolating behaviors could be a warning sign.
2) Struggling with feelings more so than other children of the same age: If you notice your child is having a harder time with managing emotions and feelings compared to other children of similar age, it may be time to seek out professional help.
3) Change in eating and sleeping habits: If you notice a change in your child’s eating or sleep habits, it may be due to mental health issues relating to anxiety or depression. Certain eating habits could also be early signs of potential eating disorders.
4) Destructive Behavior: If you notice your child engaging in self-destructive behaviors such as self-harm or drug use, it is iminent to talk to a mental health professional. Self-destructive behaviors often occur to numb feelings of anger, guilt, pain, or resentment.
5) Extreme Feelings of Sadness or Worry: If you notice your child seems to be stuck in an anxiety ridden or sadness ridden mood, it is best to talk to a mental health professional. It is also important to note if your child has been crying a lot. This could be an early onset of depression or anxiety.
6) Social Isolation: If you notice your child is suddenly not talking to several of their friends or not hanging out with friends as much, it could be a sign of bullying, depression, or anxiety.
7) Regression: Regression can sometimes occur and be normal (i.e. big changes such as a birth of a new sibling). However, if you notice regression patterns of bedwetting, tantrums, clinginess, it could be time to get some help.
8) Increased physical complaints: Mental health issues such as anxiety can manifest themselves in physical ways through stomach aches and headaches. If you notice your child has increased in physical complaints, it may be time to get help.
9) Bringing up the topic of death frequently: If you notice your child bringing up death constantly, especially in the form of suicide related or self harm topics, it is imminent to get help right away.
10) Stressful situations: If your child is going through a stressful situation like moving or experiencing divorce, it may be possible they do not have the proper and developed coping skills needed for stressful types of situations. Having extra support could be extremely helpful for your child.
11) Changes in Hygiene: If you are starting to notice changes in hygiene behaviors such as brushing their teeth or bathing, this could be a sign your child is experiencing depression or anxiety.