Parenting is difficult. Unfortunately, our children are not born with a manual and there are no rules on paternity black and white. That makes our job confusing, especially when it comes to understanding the mental health of our children.
may be difficult to distinguish the signs of a mental health disorder of a normal childhood behavior.
When my daughter was three, she was a relentless ball of fun, energy and high emotion. Sometimes, she would have a tantrum fundamental to her, “No! I do not want to use my pink tennis shoes,” she’d mourn and scream leaving me perplexed, unsure and a little scary.
His anger was so great that I remember worrying that maybe he had crossed a line of some sort. This tantrum was a sign of an abnormal amount of emotion? Were you physically ill? I even wondered sometimes if he was mentally ill.
I went so far as to ask a friend, a child psychiatrist, if he thought such behavior were signs of a larger problem. My friend reminded me that at three years of age, children have problems of early separation and this wild behavior was his unconscious to test myself way: “My mom loves me, even if I cry, cry and affection refuse”
I realized after talking with my friend, and making my own observations, that his tantrums were strong but had bounced and recovered fairly quickly.
however, not everyone has a friend who is a child psychiatrist. What we must ask whether we are concerned about our children and their overall health and mental well-being?
is important to understand that not all tantrums, aggressive behavior or merger is a sign of a mental health disorder.
Signs that children may be having problems are varied depending on their developmental age. But here are some things to consider:
-Hyperactivity beyond what other children are doing
 nightmares -Persistent
-Excessive, worrying fear, or crying
-Extreme disobedience or aggression.
-a lot of tantrums all the time with the inability to calm
difficulty separating -Persistent
we must also be alert and refine the details of the specific behaviors of our children. Looking at the full scope of their interactions and evaluation of behavioral patterns, it is possible to discover indicators of a larger, more urgent problem that requires professional treatment.
Areas to be evaluated include home, school, friends, family and self. What is sought is the intense and frequent their disruptive behaviors are
While watching your child, ask yourself a series of questions, some of which may include :.
- Can my child let go of the anger, frustration, sadness? How long does it take?
- Is my son arguing about the same thing all the time? Can he / she lets go?
- my son is removed and is not happy?
- Does my child have difficulty participating?
- Is there an inability to my son to find What things to do? It is he / she too boring?
- How does my child handle takes quiet time?
- my son does things that hurt him / herself?
- Are there drastic and sudden changes in the behavior of my child (sleeping, eating, grooming habits)?
- Does my child have the ability to be empathetic?
- Does my child avoid different people in our family?
If you have identified areas or behaviors that seem related to you, it is important to organize events and talk to a professional doctor as your child. Let them know what you have observed and be prepared with clear and concise examples to help them better identify and properly recommend the next course of action
A worksheet to help you organize your observations :.
1. List of specific problem behaviors that indicate emotional turmoil. Talk to teachers, child care providers and others involved with your child on a daily basis. What time of day are being produced these behaviors? What is the value? What were the circumstances?
2. Make a conjecture, and define what you think your child’s emotional turmoil could be. is of great value to the health care professional to hear what is happening in the gut of parents and head.
3. What could be the cause of the turbulence? Many times, you may have a good idea where this behavior is coming from. For example, you are going through a divorce? Is there an alcoholic parent? Make some intelligent guesses about what you think is going on. Do not judge yourself. Just be honest.
4. How has your child’s emotional turmoil affected the family? Ask yourself, how this affects everyday life for you and other family members?
5. What have I done to this situation? Specifically, what worked? And then, what has not worked and why?
If necessary, your provider will recommend a clinical local institution, program or trust.
But no matter what, stay closely involved. Your child needs you to advocate for him / her and be willing to participate in the solution.
- Find ways to have fun and relax together. Spending time in nature. Sit on the grass and look at the cloud formations, go for a walk in the park and collect insects.
- Notice strengths and praise. Catch your child being good! It does wonders for your self-esteem and link together.
- Sign up for a yoga class parent / child or get them involved in additional activities that can not be offered at school and helps to express creativity.
- more positive experiences you have together, the more you can help your child thrive and develop trust. And the more you can help promote your child’s success
By :. Polly Drew, M. Ed, LMFT, LSCW for Healthy Moms Magazine
Polly Drew is a psychotherapist who specializes in relationship issues, couple and family. He has been honored locally and nationally for his contributions in the field of mental health and marriage and family therapy. Polly was born and raised in Wisconsin and graduated from the University’s School of Education of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has an MBA from Kent State University in Ohio, two years of post-master training in marriage and family therapy and more than 25 years in private psychotherapy practice in Colorado and Wisconsin. She is licensed as a clinical social worker and independent marriage and family therapist in the state of Wisconsin. For more tips visit Polly Rehabs.com and Recovery.org .