Does My Kid Need Help?

Kids are resilient. Whether it’s physical sickness or injury, a major disappointment, a move to a new home, or the passing of a family pet, kids seem to have a special power that helps them heal and return to balance. However, kids are also sensitive and vulnerable. They’re susceptible to experiences and conditions that may be difficult or harmful, and which may cause them to take even longer to recover and heal. Children thrive when their basic needs are met, including emotional security and love. But how do we tell when our kids may not be thriving and instead need additional support?

Kids have been affected profoundly by the pandemic, whether it’s evident on the surface or not. They’ve had to deal with major disruptions to their lives both at school and at home. Enforced isolation has had an impact on their social lives and development. There are also the downstream effects of work changes and job losses experienced by their parents and caregivers. You can add to the list of impacts almost without end.

In coping with such change, kids often take cues from the adults around them. They may instinctively follow the examples of those they trust and depend upon. Every parent, caregiver, and teacher is acutely aware of this and the additional sense of stress it can cause when we are feeling vulnerable, frightened, or uncertain ourselves.

In these stressful times, how do we differentiate our own feelings from those our child is experiencing? How can we tell if our child needs additional help?

As always, observation and conversation are good places to start. You know your child best. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

  • Is your child experiencing problems in multiple areas such as school, friendships, family relationships, or extracurricular activities?
  • Are they withdrawing from family, friends, or activities they typically enjoy?
  • Are they engaging in negative behavior more frequently?
  • Are they demonstrating significant changes in eating or sleep habits?
  • Are they expressing excessive worry about the future?
  • Are they talking about or engaging in any kind of self-harm?

Take the lead in talking about your concern with your child. Oftentimes, just saying, “Does this feel like something we should get some help with?” provides the opening for your child to answer “Yeah, it does.”

We’re here to help, even if you’re not sure. To ask questions or to schedule an appointment, call us at (303) 617-2300.