Recently in the news, there have been stories about the mental health of our children and how it is declining. The reasons that they state are really due to the pandemic and the loss of many events and expectations that children had for the end of the last school year and this current school year. There were many unexpected changes that happened quickly and along with events they may have been expecting, they have also lost social and peer interactions.
This may cause parents to wonder about how to try to mitigate some of these losses and mental health decline. How do you know if your child is experiencing mental health concerns? If many children are experiencing the same losses, how do you know which children are feeling this loss more significantly? When do you need to look for additional help for your child?
Some of this determination is made by parents knowing their children and observing their behaviors, which is also different depending on the age of the child. This is always a good place to start, but I also have some additional ideas to help make this determination. This list is not exhaustive and it is always important that if you have any concerns to ask questions. I believe it is better to ask questions and there not be as much need for concern at the time instead of not asking when there were bigger concerns that needed to be addressed.
Behaviors to pay attention to:
· Does your child seem more reserved and keeping to themselves more?
· Is your child responding with more intense behaviors?
· Have you noticed significant changes in your child’s behaviors?
· Has your child’s eating or sleeping patterns changed?
It is important to remember that the change that children are experiencing happened quickly and without much warning and this is hard for anyone to handle. While it is starting to look like there may be some positive changes happening, but there is still uncertainty around when things will open back up and when things will go back to “normal” which is again hard for many to deal with. Talk to your children and ask them about how they are feeling. They may not know how to put their feelings into words, but your interest in how they are doing will provide some comfort. Remember to spend some quality time with your children so that they get the comfort and love that they need.
If you have any concerns or want more information, please feel free to reach out via email.