Mental health problems can affect anyone, regardless of age. Even children can have mental health problems. In fact, it is estimated that 1 in 5 children aged 13 to 18 has or will have a serious mental illness at some point in their life. Unfortunately, mental illness can interfere with a child’s ability to learn, form relationships, and cope with their emotions. In children, anxiety can arise due to several reasons like frequently moving house or school, parents fighting, the death of a close relative or friend, being neglected, being abused, school-related issues like exams or bullying, etc. This blog deals with how to identify and help your child when they have anxiety disorders because of reasons at school.
If you notice any behavioral changes in your child, talk to your child’s pediatrician or a mental health professional right away. Some of the most common signs of mental health issues in children are:
If you suspect your child is suffering from one of these issues, seek help immediately from a mental health professional. Getting early help is the best way to avoid long-term damage to your child’s mental and emotional health and ensure they can live happy and fulfilling life.
Nothing can replace the time you spend with your child. Your presence alone is your child’s strongest defense against mental illness. Play with them, read to them, and tuck them into bed at night. Even older children benefit from one-on-one time with their parents. If life gets busy and you don’t have as much time to spend together as you used to, make it a point to schedule some quality time every week or every other week.
Spending quality time with your child also gives you a chance to talk honestly about what’s going on in their life. Ask them if they are having any problems at school, with friends, or at home. If your child is struggling to make friends, you can offer to set them up with a friend of theirs from school. You could also consider joining a club with them or finding a hobby you can do together — both are great ways for them to meet people and develop their skills and interests at the same time.
If your child does complain about a problem, try your best to listen. Let them express their worries without interrupting them, and make sure they know their feelings are valid and important. Don’t try to brush them off or tell them not to worry about it; instead, reassure them that you’ll do whatever you can to help them figure out a solution. Then, work together to think of ideas to help solve the problem. Your child may be more willing to open up to you if you promise to keep what you hear confidential until they bring it up again.
Participating in sports is a great way for children to build self-confidence, make friends, and stay active and healthy. However, many kids today feel pressure to participate in multiple sports or train competitively year-round. This can put a serious strain on a child’s mental health, especially if they’re burned out or injured from overtraining. This is why it’s important that parents encourage their kids to try different sports and find the one that feels most natural for them. They shouldn’t push children into playing a sport they don’t enjoy or excel at. Instead, they should help them discover their interests and find hobbies and activities that they’re passionate about.
If your child develops a passion for a specific sport that they’d like to pursue on a competitive level, work with them to find a balance between the sport they love and other healthy activities they enjoy. A healthy mind and body are key to a child’s overall happiness and mental well-being. Help them find an activity that brings them both together, and that’s fun to do!
There are plenty of ways kids can help boost their mental health, but one of the best is to avoid bullying. Kids who know how to deal with bullies are less likely to struggle with depression and anxiety later in life than those who don’t know how to handle it. Set up a meeting with your kids’ teachers to see what the school is doing to prevent or deal with bullying. Talk with your kids about bullying and educate them on what to do if they are being bullied or if they see someone else being bullied.
It can be difficult for children to verbally express their frustrations, fears, and worries. As a parent, it is important to be supportive and encouraging of your child’s emotions. For example, if your child is feeling anxious about school, encourage him to speak about it with you. If you are able to help out in some way, such as accompanying her on a school visit or meeting the teacher, do so! (It may also help you as a parent to understand the situation better by communicating directly with teachers or school administrators.) Allowing a child to face his fears head-on rather than avoid them can increase his confidence in handling stressful situations in the future.
Call San Pedro at (310) 832-6487 or schedule an online appointment to know more about mental health issues and the possible treatment options.