While you may be busy focusing on the physical health of your kids, like their weight and nutrition, don’t forget about their mental health! This is also very important and you don’t want to ignore the signs. Here are some ways to take of their mental health.
Signs of Mental Illness
The first thing you need to do is make sure you understand the signs of mental illness. While some of the signs will differ depending on what your child is struggling with, many of them are the same for things like depression, anxiety, and various other illnesses.
What you want to do is look for changes in your child, from things like being more angry or agitated, to suddenly having a new group of friends or losing interest in activities they used to enjoy. Here are some other signs of potential mental illness to be aware of:
- Bad grades or behavioral problems in class
- Behavioral changes in the home
- Fidgeting or being hyperactive
- Extreme emotions, whether angry, sad, or frustrated
- Lack of interest in hobbies and friends
- Being overly worried or anxious
- Showing signs of withdrawing from social interaction
- Sudden nightmares and/or bedwetting
How to Handle Mental Health Problems
When you know what signs to look for, it can be easier knowing when it is time to seek professional help. While there are some situations you can handle on your own, mental illness is not something to take lightly. You can support your kids from things like self-esteem issues or lack of confidence, but if you think your child might have a mental illness, the sooner they get help, the better off they will be. Talk to a school counselor, your pediatrician, or a child therapist to get them evaluated and figure out the best course of action. Getting a second or even third opinion is not a bad idea, especially if the first specialist recommended medication for your child.
Ways to Support Your Kids
Even with mental health and not necessarily a mental illness, you can help your kids grow up with a lot of confidence and reassurance.
You want to always be there to listen without judging, and make sure each kid knows they are equally important. Look for signs they might be struggling in a certain area and offer to help. Spend more time as a family so your kids always feel supported.