Childhood is a series of phases, with alternating periods of sunshine and stormy weather. Of course, we worry about our children when they’re in stormy phases, and wonder if it is something that will pass or if it is a sign that they need extra help. Here are our tips for figuring out whether your child needs counseling.
1. Look for changes like:
Trouble focusing (might show up as getting into trouble at school, or declining grades)
Sleeping and/or eating a lot more or or a lot less than usual
Losing interest in doing fun activities
Feeling sad or irritable a lot more than usual
Expressing feelings of being worthless, useless, or guilty
Expressing feelings of fear out of proportion to the situation (ex: frequently afraid of going to school or separating from parents)
Frequent stomach aches or headaches that don’t have a medical explanation
2. Stay on the lookout for delayed reactions to big life events.
Sometimes, children don’t react right away to big changes in their lives. For example, they might act completely like themselves right after a move to a new school, or a change in the family like loss or divorce.
But over time, they may begin to exhibit big feelings like anger or sadness as they process what happened and realize that the change is permanent. If you see any of those big feelings accompanied by the behavior changes described above, then counseling will likely be beneficial as a space for your child to process what happened and develop more coping skills. 3. Trust your parental instincts.
If something is telling you that your child is not well and needs support, then that is always worth investigating! If you reach out to a therapist who specializes in children’s mental health, they will be able to discuss your child’s specific situation and recommend a course of action.
Our Embolden Counseling Collective team is made up of former teachers and school counselors who are passionate about supporting children's wellbeing. Please don't hesitate to contact us with any questions or concerns about your child's mental health!