Throughout your children’s lives, they will experience difficult times. As a parent, it may be hard to determine if and when to get additional help.
There’s a lot to take into consideration. Are your children’s difficulties getting worse? Are you worried their difficulties will get worse? Here are some things to look for that could be helpful when deciding whether or not to seek help.
Signs Your Children May Need Therapy
- Show excessive worry or hopelessness. This could include saying phrases such as, “Why even bother,” “I don’t know what I’ll do if [something] happengs/doesn’t happen,” or “I don’t want to be here anymore.”
- Withdraw from people or from activities they usually like.
- Exhibit excessive negative behavior or reckless behavior that’s unusual for them.
- Have extreme changes in eating and sleeping habits that last at least a few days.
- Show some self-destructive behaviors, like hurting themselves, pulling out hair, and drinking alcohol/taking drugs.
- Have regressions, like bed wetting throwing out-of-context tantrums, and being clingy.
- Frequently complain about physical pain, such as headaches.
- Show problems with memory or concentration, which may affect academic performance.
- Talk about suicide.
Some of these alone are normal for children to experience, especially during the current pandemic. An occasional bad day is normal; your children are learning how to navigate all sorts of emotions. If you’re worried about certain behaviors, pay attention to how often it happens, how severe it is, and if it’s a normal behavior for kids that age to have.
It is important to note that if your children talk about suicide or are in a serious situation, seek help immediately by calling 911 or the Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255.
This blog was written by Hope Squad. Hope Squad student members are trained to be aware of their peers and watch for warning signs. They learn to show empathy to their peers, listen without judgment, and reduce stigma regarding help-seeking and mental illness. Hope Squads are now in over 1,200 schools across 35 states and Canada. During the seventeen years since Timpview High School started a Hope Squad, the school has not lost a student to suicide. And as Hope Squad grows, we will continue to spread hope and save more lives. Learn more by visiting https://hopesquad.com/.