Parents are often the ones who can sense when something is wrong with their child. They can feel the shift that happens internally without being told anything. Raising their children, they see their mental development over the years and can notice when things change and not for the better. When these things happen, parents should try their best to help them understand what has shifted and what they need to do to help them feel better. Sometimes, that may involve getting help from a licensed professional. Here are 3 signs that every parent should look out for if they are questioning if their child should start seeing someone.
1) Destructive Behaviors
One of the most common signs, a child suddenly becoming destructive is a clear cry for help. They may begin breaking their or other people’s personal items. This is often a sign of having difficulty coping. Has something changed in the family dynamic recently? Has the child been moved to a new location and away from the home and friends they have known? Did a person in their life suddenly leave for no reason? Coping is often difficult for children to grasp and can be translated into physical attacks. If a child starts harming their belongings, it is only a matter of time before those things are no longer satisfactory enough and the need to harm is focused on people. Try to get them help immediately with childcare professionals when this begins to keep it from escalating.
2) Extreme Feelings
Is your child someone who feels things deeply? Do they tend to cry at the drop of a hat? Will they show signs of a panic attack when confronted with something they did that was wrong? These children are often categorized as ”emotionally fragile” but the truth of it is the children are simply dealing with their feelings on an extreme wavelength and don’t have the necessary tools for how to handle them. A way parents can help their child to learn is to work on breathing techniques. Having them blow on something (your hand, a doll, a pinwheel, etc) can keep the child from hyperventilating. Other ideas are to make a special area where the child can calm down and engage with items meant to help them find their center and steady themselves. These are great tools but a therapist or counselor can help the child to explore the nature of these emotions and what may have caused them, getting to the root of the issue.
Childhood regression is when children stop trying to develop their mental skills and instead return to acting as someone much younger than they are. This may be shown as wanting to use a pacifier when they had already been weaned off of it. If the child has been working hard to potty train, they may regress and begin soiling themselves in want for a diaper. Regression is a sign of great stress and changes that they are not handling well. If a new baby is brought into the house, a child may choose to return to their baby habits. Moving to a new home can cause them to have disrupted sleep when they were previously sleeping throughout the night. Having them speak with a professional can help them to keep from hitting reverse on their development and instead push forward to being their best self.