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Does My Child need a Therapist?

All children have emotional ups and downs, such as mood swings, issues with friends, and declines in academic performance. How can you tell if your child is experiencing more significant difficulties? And when should you go for professional help?

Some difficulties are expected as children develop; they are natural.

It's essential to keep in mind that these "bumps in the road"—as I like to refer to them—are often temporary and might provide possibilities for your child to develop new skills to add to their toolbox. As kids grow up, some moodiness, anxiety, social, and academic issues are common and even expected.

Resilience-Building Teachable Moments

Rather of focusing on the issue at hand, we should consider how we respond to obstacles.

Children's experiences and feelings need to be heard, acknowledged, and understood by parents. You can usually help your child figure things out if you are sensitive, patient, and supportive. You'd be amazed at how much validating your child's experience can do to make them feel heard. Once they feel heard, they're more open to hearing and talking about solutions.

Children who are starting school for the first time, relocating to a new home and neighborhood, or graduating from high school and entering college for the first time often find things to be particularly challenging during this time.

Parents' impulse to step in and try to resolve problems right away is understandable, yet all that children really need is to be heard and understood. using validating statements like "I can tell this is incredibly difficult for you" or "I see you've been experiencing difficulties recently." can help. However, parents need to be careful about how they communicate with their children as well, occasionally, a parent's own anxiety may make their child feel more anxious.

When to seek help Sometimes, what seems like a normal childhood difficulty can sometimes turn into something more serious. Below are some behaviors to beware of:

  • Has issues with family connections, academic performance, hobbies, and friendships, among other aspects of life.

  • Says things such, "I wish I wasn't here," or "No one would care if I ran away.

  • Demonstrates habitual, harmful actions, such as skin picking or hair pulling.

  • Begins to feel horrible about themselves, becomes less effective or confident.

  • Pulls back from friends, family, or hobbies they always enjoyed.

  • Demonstrates a major change in appetite or sleep patterns.

  • Displays an extreme concern and is anxious about the future.

  • More often exhibits negative conduct.

  • engages in any form of self-harm or discusses doing so.

  • Detailed discussion about suicide.

  • Feels hopeless.

Trust your instincts as a parent. You are the greatest person to judge your child. Always follow your gut feeling if something doesn't feel right. Getting things checked out is best if you're unsure.

How to reach out Don't be scared to bring up the subject with your child; frequently, if you just ask, "Does this feel like something we need to seek some assistance with?," they will respond, "Yeah, it does."

How open children are to accept extra assistance frequently surprises parents. Your physician is the closest source of assistance, and families can now also easily obtain virtual support, which is already a widely available choice.

Pediatricians are frequently wonderful at helping parents in differentiating between what is and isn't typical and can provide reassurance if required. Your physician may also recommend additional resources and send you to a counselor who is a good fit for your child.

Sometimes parents believe that their child's mental health care will include medication or hospitalization. We need to de-stigmatize the notion of mental health therapy, especially in the Arab world. Even when problems aren't severe, a little additional assistance may help your child—and even you as a parent— can learn new coping mechanisms and problem-solving techniques that can help you help your child.

Seeking assistance may make life simpler and happier for you all, whether your child needs assistance navigating typical developmental obstacles or is struggling with a more serious issue.


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