The birth of a child. Babies first steps. The first day of school. These are all wonderful moments in time. And they are met with joy and optimism. As a parent, or caretaker, you remain optimistic that this is just the beginning of the beautiful things to come in a child’s life. But what about the moments in life that aren’t as happy.
Undoubtedly, children will go through their share of disappointment. It’s essential to teach them how to cope with those disappointments, so they can move forward and learn from the situation. But there are moments in time, where it’s harder to move forward. Being aware of those times, is important to help children overcome those obstacles.
I often hear adults say to children, “what are you stressed about? You’re too young to be stressed!”. It makes me cringe, because it essentially states that because a child is young, their feelings aren’t warranted. It makes an already vulnerable child feel like their emotions to a situation are unjustified, just because they are child. With hormones raging, changes in their personal environment, and the wild fire that is social media, it’s easy to see how kids can be stressed.
Mental health is not only important for adults. It’s important to understand mental health for everyone, of all ages. Understanding the warning signs of troubled or distressed children can help cope with mental health issues. The signs don’t all look the same for each child. They may seem subtle at first, but can manifest into a much larger issue.
A great article I read, found on Recovery Village’s website, shares a lot of the warning signs, statistics and strategies on how to approach mental health illness in children.
My children have all seen a therapist at one point in their lives. I know I am not a perfect parent, and I am aware that at times, they needed to talk to someone outside of the immediate family. By my children talking to a professional, it allows them to get everything out without feeling judged, and it helps me learn how to approach them with certain subjects.
Parent’s aren’t always right. We are imperfect, and that’s what makes our bond with our child a learning process. There is no right way to raise a child. It’s important to understand that if your child does develop mental health problems, that getting them help as fast as you can is the best thing you can do.
Remember, May is Mental Health Awareness Month.