Kids struggle with stress and other mental health problems as much as adults. They often feel moody, experience relationship problems and struggle with confidence, such as in school performance. If you think your child is struggling with something stressful or even a mental health problem, a psychologist can help. A child psychologist knows just how to communicate with your young person, to help them open up and resolve some of their issues.
All Kids Struggle
It is difficult to know what struggles are typical of childhood and which ones point to a bigger issue. According to psychologists, all kids experience moodiness, social problems, anxiety and academic difficulties. These are problems that teach them about life and how to handle themselves in society. They are normal developmental challenges. In most cases, your child figures their way out of these problems.
The best way to help your child when they face hurdles is to listen to them and talk through their concerns with language they can understand. This is better than trying to “save” them from their struggles or solve their problems. Be their guide and show compassion.
When Your Child Needs a Psychologist’s Help
Your child needs a psychologist’s help when they suffer serious problems, such as:
- Wide-ranging difficulties throughout their life at once, such as in school, socializing, family relationships and leisure activities
- Low self-esteem or poor belief in self
- Extreme worry or anxiety about the future
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Poor motivation
- Withdrawal or isolation from family, friends and favourite activities
- Changing sleep or eating habits
- Negative behaviours
- Self-destructive behaviours or self-harm
- Suicidal thoughts or feelings
Parents should always trust their gut instincts when it comes to their child needing outside help. If you believe your child is struggling more than they should, it is better to enlist a qualified child psychologist’s help.
How to Reach Out
Start an open discussion with your child about their needs, particularly for their feelings or stress. Ask them if they feel it would be nice to get some help with their problems. Giving them a sense of empowerment in the decision-making makes it easier to start this therapy on a positive note. Parents frequently note surprise at how eager their kids are to talk to a therapist.
Therapy can help children with various problems, even those they do not feel comfortable sharing with their parents. Also, be aware that therapy does not always lead to medication or hospitalization. A child psychologist starts with talk therapy and works through your child’s problems by listening to them and providing guidance. They also teach children coping skills for dealing with everyday stress.
Getting Past Your Child’s Fear of Therapy
It is important not to give in to the stigmas of mental health treatment. Times have changed, and really, anyone can benefit from some form of therapy. Psychologists use a range of talk therapies and other methods to reach children in ways that their parents cannot. They also help patients understand the important connection between mental and physical wellness. In this way, they help your child grow more mentally and physically healthy.
If your child feels concerned about what their friends will think about their therapy, remind them that therapy is confidential. A psychologist does not tell others the names of patients. The therapist also keeps everything your child says private between the two of them and parents, as needed. Friends will not find out unless your child chooses to share this information with them.