Children, just like adults, go through experiences that may affect their mental well being. A 2011-12 report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), shows that one out of every seven children experienced a mental, behavioural, or development disorder. Thus, it is important for parents to keep watch over their children’s behaviour and seek professional help when everything does not seem right.
Addressing the problem can prevent it from progressing and affecting the child’s teenage and adult life. The more the problem persists, the harder it will be to resolve it. Most of the emotional problems can be overcome with counselling. Below are some of the signs that indicate the need for counselling for children.
Anger and Overreaction
Children are bound to get angry especially after a disappointment. However, if the child is constantly angry, it may be a sign of an emotional issue. If your child gets angry and overreacts to every situation, destroys things and speaks harsh words, consider seeking help from a therapist.
Isolation from Family and Friends
Isolation from family and friends is another sign to look out for. Though not all children will be outgoing and overly social, every child has some friends and family members that they love hanging out with. If the child suddenly stops talking to friends and family, this can be a cause for alarm.
Change in Behaviour after a Life Event
Drastic changes in behaviour after a life event such as moving to a new city, divorce, or a new brother and sister can be an indication that the child is having negative emotions. Such behaviour needs to be dealt with, otherwise, it may affect the child’s performance in school and his or her relationship with others.
Sudden Drop in Grades
A drop in the child’s grades is another red flag to watch out for. It is understandable when the child’s grades drop after moving to a new school or when the child has been unwell. However, if there is no explanation for the drop, and the poor performance does not improve, you may consider seeking child counselling.
Negative Emotions and Behaviour after Child Abuse
While counselling cannot take away the pain caused by child abuse, it can help in easing the psychological torture. Children who are abused may experience feelings of fear, shame, anger, lack of self-worth, depression and guilt. A child therapist will help the child in overcoming these negative emotions. The child may still experience the emotions even after counselling and thus the parents should keep a close watch and seek help when the child’s behaviour changes. Additionally, the parents of the affected should consider counselling as well.
Cutting and Other Physical Injuries
A child can harm him or herself physically when they are going through something emotionally. Thus, don’t take those cuts lightly and watch the child closely when they claim that the injury was an accident.
Even little ones are not immune to mental health issues, but the good news is that they can get support from therapists and counsellors to resolve the issue before it affects their health and well being.