Taking care of your child’s mental health is a primary concern
More often than not, parents are at a loss about the right way to address mental health issues in children
Parenting is an exhausting job. It is a process that evolves, and there is no one approach to doing it perfectly. While spending time with one’s child is wonderful, every parent experiences a range of emotions. They encounter challenging situations such as handling tantrums, maintaining discipline, giving them the right kind of education, and much more. But above all, it is their responsibility to ensure their child’s happiness. Taking care of their mental health is a primary concern. More often than not, parents are at a loss about the right way to address the issue. Psychologist Prerna Kohli, through her initiative MindTribe, has tried to delve deeper into how to recognise your child’s psychological needs.
The expert suggests that as parents, you should be mindful of any irregular behaviour in children, such as:
- They are avoiding situations or activities that they previously enjoyed. For example, if they liked playing a sport or attending dance classes but suddenly refrains from it.
- Keep a lookout for any noticeable changes in emotions. Take note if they start getting irritated frequently or are facing extreme anger issues suddenly.
- There are regressions in the behaviour, which may include bedwetting, nail-biting, or being clingy to a parent or family member.
- There might also be physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach pain, and extreme fatigue.
- There may also be disruptions to their everyday lives. Their concentration level might be very poor, or they might not get adequate sleep and lose their appetite.
Apart from these early symptoms, some more explicit signs may include extreme discomfort or fear in certain places, avoidance of social situations or school and nightmares.
If your child is showing any or some of the above signs, you might consider consulting a therapist soon. Psychotherapist Zara Kadir points out some behaviours of a parent that might be adverse to a child’s mental well-being.
Firstly, the habit of making threats to your children is dangerous. Seeking obedience through fear doesn’t teach children anything. Try not to shout at your child. When you raise your voice, the child tends to perceive that you are not open to suggestions or their opinions. They instead shut down or fight back.
Secondly, as a parent, you should not blame them for everything. It adds to the shame and does not help in solving the issue. Never make the mistake of comparing your child to others. It discourages them from taking initiative.