Parenting is not easy because cognitive development and social skills of children during their growing years depend a lot on the nature of response they receive from their guardians. The same can be said about children exhibiting symptoms of certain mental disorders. Mental health condition among American children is a big concern today. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), nearly 20 percent American children have or had been afflicted with some acute mental disability at some point in their lives. This implies that many American parents have to go through the trauma of bringing up a child with some mental condition.
Parents tend to get more careful with their children when the wards have psychological or behavioral issues. However, they need to understand that behavioral issues of children need not be deemed serious unless they interfere with their daily activities. Parents need to approach professionals to understand the right kind of treatment for their children. Considering that recovery of children with mental health problems is difficult without their parents’ support, physicians pinpoint certain necessary tips for parents of such children. Some of the points that parents need to keep in mind are:
- Need to believe: Parents at times do not believe their children, thinking they are making unnecessary excuses. And this prevents children from sharing their innate thoughts and feelings with parents, thus, increasing the chance for parents to miss out on important cues, manifesting symptoms of behavioral issues. Showing trust towards children helps them open up about their varied thoughts or problems they may be facing in their daily lives.
- Exhibiting supportive attitude: Children look at their parents for necessary support. This holds true for children of all age groups. Children reeling under mental problems are sometimes anxious and fearful while some may be facing emotions of incessant despondency and sadness, characteristic of depression. Though the diagnosis of the exact nature of mental illness in children is time-taking, it is important for parents to support them throughout the healing process.
- Escapist attitude does not help: At times, parents are seen telling their children to venture out for some fresh air, believing that some fresh air and company of their peers will do them the necessary good. But the same may not hold true in cases where children suffer from debilitating disorders like depression or are constantly worried about something. The need is to understand the need of the child instead of adopting an escapist attitude.
- Socializing does not always help: Children suffering from anxiety disorders find it difficult to socialize with their peers. They want to stay aloof. Forcing them to interact, especially, in groups consisting of large number of people may cause panic attacks, thus, only worsening the chance of recovery.
- Not all children are attention seekers: Panic attacks are for real. This needs to be understood by parents who at times dismiss their children’s unwanted fears or need of support as clues of attention seeking behavior. While some children do throw tantrums to get their demands fulfilled, not all tantrums are willfully done. Emotionally disturbed children, at times, express themselves in the form of loud fits which parents need to observe carefully for potential signs of psychological disorder.
- Seeking expert advice: Approaching professionals for expert advice is not a sign of weakness. In fact, it is the most scientific and intelligent way of dealing with a child’s problem. Talking to a professional can also go a long way in helping children share their suicidal ideations harboring in their minds.
Time to seek professional advice
Parents at times are reluctant to ask for help, fearing stigma. Some ignore such signs, believing that they are symptoms of childish behavior which kids portray during their growing years. Disorders, whether physiological or psychological, need to be treated timely. Supporting children during the healing process makes their recovery less complicated.
If you or a loved one is suffering from any kind of mental disorder, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline to find the right line of treatment for mental health illness. Call at our 24/7 helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online to get in touch with a mental health specialist and start the journey to recovery today.