There’s no such thing as too young when it comes to teaching kids ways of dealing and expressing what they feel.
Science might not know the one formula to being faultless parents or raising perfect kids. But they were able to make scientific breakthroughs for parents in the previous year that could be game-changers with how we do parenting.
Does Your Child Have It?
Over a million Americans have some form of this inborn heart abnormality. Could one of your family members suffer from it without you knowing?
You have probably heard your mother say, “You’ll understand it someday.” Yes, you will indeed!
It’s hard to understand the struggles of a parent until you are a mom/dad yourself. Adults’ love for their children is just priceless. They worry a lot because they never want their children to come to any harm and would go their way only just to give them the comfort in life. Parenting classes are not enough to prepare you from parenthood.
The truth is there’s no shame in seeking [real] therapy. And, if you decide to do so, it doesn’t mean you’re a “bad parent.” The decision […] just means that you’re brave enough to get help. — R. Y. Langham, Ph.D.
Once children reach their teenage years, most moms would start to freak out. During the period of adolescence, some teens can be challenging to deal with. Many factors can easily influence teens to become rebellious. This is why every parent like you must know how to handle your teenage daughter properly. It will be challenging and scary in the beginning, especially when you entertain the possibility that your child will create a distance of herself from you. When this happens, just remind yourself that everything will be worth it in the end.
Most parents strive to raise their kids well so that they can have a better future. But what happens when parents slowly see the signs that their children are performing poorly academically? More than that, what might cause this to happen? The answers can be more obvious than you think. Continue reading
One in twenty kids (that’s one child in every elementary classroom) are estimated to have depression. Many times, it’s triggered by a traumatic event, such as parent’s divorce, moving or changing schools, or sickness. — John Smith Ph.D.
I grew up knowing a little boy named David (not his real name) who used to feel so unloved and unwanted in his household. Whenever the aunts and uncles visited their home, they would always point out his wrongdoings and scold him for every single mistake. E.g., spilling a drop of soup on the table, turning up the volume of the TV, etc. Even David’s parents would do the same and pressure him into being #1 in his entire grade; that’s why he couldn’t help but resent his family. He was not supposed to reason out or talk back to the elders, though, so his only outlet was doing thin cuts on his leg to forget his situation somehow. Of course, he did not divulge that problem to them, but his parents eventually saw the cuts and brought the little boy straight to a therapist.
As per a psychologist’s diagnosis, David was suffering from depression. It made his parents’ hearts ache so bad that they frantically asked the licensed therapist about what they could do to help their poor child. The most practical suggestion that they received was to get the friends, and other relatives know about David’s condition so that they would not add to his depressive feelings.
Now, if you are acquainted or related to any kid like David who has been diagnosed with depression, here’s how you should behave around them.
1. Don’t Talk About The Mental Disorder
The first no-no as someone who knows the depressed kid but is not his or her mom or dad is to avoid talking about the fact that you are aware of their depression. For one, it can make them feel small after learning that the news about their condition has already reached other people. Once the adults know about something, after all, they know that it will only take time before their classmates and other kids hear about it as well. Then, they fear of getting bullied because of it. If you want to ease the troubled youngster’s situation, therefore, you should talk about anything but depression in front of them.
n her cross-cultural research on depression, psychologist Yulia Chentsova-Dutton likens depression’s constellations of symptoms to the starry sky. It’s the same universal experience of suffering, the same black vastness above our heads dotted with bright and dim lights. — Marianna Pogosyan Ph.D.
2. Encourage The Depressed Child To Talk Anytime
Although it is not ideal to speak about the mental disorder deliberately, it still matters to help the depressed kid bring out their bottled-up thoughts and emotions. That is the only thing that prevents them from healing, to be honest.
One technique that you can try is to start a game with different children in which the loser has to mention something that he or she feels sad. When the depressed child sees others being unafraid to talk about their emotions in the presence of an adult, he or she may follow suit without hesitation. However, if it does not happen for the first time, you should use another tactic next time instead of forcing the kid to speak up.
3. Know Their Triggers
Another thing to keep in mind is that anyone with a psychological issue has buttons that can be triggered by various scenarios. There are no generalized trigger factors; everyone has a different case. Therefore, it will be wise for you to find out what they are for the child that you will be dealing with to avoid making them feel more depressed than ever.
In David’s case, his depression gets triggered when he hears someone shouting angrily even he’s not the one getting screamed at. Whatever facial expression he has dissolves into nothing as soon as the yelling comes and you can see him internally retreating in the dark corners of his mind when it happens. For that reason, shouting is ill-advised when David is around.
4. Help The Kid Appreciate What He Or She Has
Children as young as three years old get diagnosed with depression, and many parents cannot figure out why. Some say that it is because of the pressure that society puts on them; others think that it is brought by the things they see on the internet.
While it’s hard to tell which is which for every kid, what’s typical for most depressed individuals, young and old, is that they tend to focus on the negative aspects of life. “My life is trash because I can’t have this or that.” “How can I live if I can’t get everything I want?” “I am too unfortunate for not being able to buy anything I want.” When you show them what they have in subtle ways, though, it may not take long before they realize that: a) they are still blessed, and 2) not having some things is not enough to lay waste to their beautiful life.
…the interaction between the mother and the infant/toddler determines the child’s later neurodevelopment. For instance, longitudinal studies from 2002 found that the hippocampus of those with symptoms of depression had less volume and lower cortical volume as young adults, influencing their psychosocial interactions, emotional regulation, and cognitive function. — William L. Mace Ph.D.
Helping an adult overcome depression is not easy, even if you are practically on the same wavelength. Thus, you can expect to deal with a depressed child to be much harder than that, especially since they do not understand how the world revolves just yet. Despite that, try your best to be of help to save someone from such a mental disorder.
When you are a parent, and you have no qualms about doing everything for your kids, it is essential to start learning about child psychology before they even enter this world.
Being able to manage your feelings is important to learning, attention and memory. — Jeffrey Bernstein Ph.D.
I can clearly remember a story about a mother who has had children during her late 30s. All of her attention right after having a daughter was on making sure that the kid was well-provided. Meaning to say, any material object that the child ever asked for, they would buy it at once. The mom worked as hard as the dad until the second baby – a son – came, and they also pampered this kid, thinking that it would make the entire family happy.
Ten years later, the same mother is now crying out of desperation because the eldest child only talks to her and everyone else when she wants something. Otherwise, the daughter would stay locked in her room, unwilling to even mingle with her brother or dad. It has come to a point where the parents have resorted to paying the child so that she will dine with them or stay in the living room with everyone. This is when the mom starts to say, “I have given my daughter everything she can ever ask for. Why does she act like this?”
Depression In Kids
Well, one thing that a lot of older parents may have no idea about is the fact that: 1) depression is real, and 2) it manifests even in children as young as three years old. This reality indicates that it is not impossible for kids above that age to get depressed as well. And, no, this condition is not a mere fad that your child may pick up at school; the illness is ingrained in their system.
Active listening requires not just that you listen to your child, but that you give feedback such as, “I can see you’re really angry right now” or “How did it make you feel when Julie said that?” Active listeners tend to have better social skills, so this listening style models a valuable behavior to your child. — John Smith Ph.D.
If you allow your kids to keep on behaving weirdly and chalk everything up to growing up, you may lose the chance to help them feel better. A proper diagnosis remains vital before you can conclude that your child has depression, but here are a few signs that may point to it.
Like the child mentioned above, depressed individuals tend to stay away from people as much as they can. Some do that to avoid getting asked about their actions and risk revealing their deep-seated problems. Others, meanwhile, refuse to be around people who they blame for their depression.
If your kid rarely wants to leave his or her bedroom even when it is time to eat for weeks now, that is a huge indication that he or she may be dealing with a psychological issue. You should then try to figure out what troubles your child the most and fix that. In case he or she does not want to talk to you, you can ask their best friend or another close relative to coax them to come out or at least speak up.
Playing negative thoughts in the head over and over is enough to keep a depressed person awake at night, and kids who live with depression are not exempted to it. Similar to adults, they tend to lay in bed and entertain every vague idea that comes to mind. Some may try to distract themselves by watching YouTube videos or playing games, but they still end up having little to no sleep every time.
Considering you have a depressed child at home, you should take note if he or she has dark circles around the eyes. Kids, in general, have supple skin, so it will not be easy for them to develop eyebags. However, if the child has been sleepless for days, you can see shadows under his or her eyes. Hence, in hopes of remedying the problem, you should try to encourage your kid to follow a bedtime routine and leave electronic gadgets out of the bedroom.
3. Self-Harming Tendencies
Self-harming is infamously done by individuals who suffer from minor to severe form of depression. The reason is not always because they want to die. At times, some people cut themselves because they think that the pain coming from it is the only way for them not to get bothered by the voices in their head.
One sign that your kid may be depressed is if you see cuts on her arms, wrists or legs. A few troubled children tend to cover them up with a handkerchief, which makes it even more conspicuous. Another way to realize that your child may be entertaining self-harming thoughts is when you find a blade in her bag or wallet.
There is often a misguided belief that in order for emotions to be regulated, they must be suppressed. However, the regulation of emotions comes from understanding them. — Kathy Hardie-Williams, MEd, MS, NCC, LPC, LMFT
Any kid is too precious to lose over depression. Assuming that you know your child behaves more differently than his or her peers, you should not take that for granted. Bring him or her to a psychologist at once to prevent the mental health condition for making your kid’s life miserable.
As a parent, it is essential on your part to focus on improving your child’s health. Keep in mind that when we speak of health, it does not only refer to physical wellness but also mental stability. As much as possible, continue to encourage your children to value their health above all else. You need to start them young so that they can get used to it and eventually master the entire process. During the 2016 Alaska childrens health month, one of the keynote speakers emphasized that each parent plays a vital role in helping their kids grow to become responsible members of society.
In this article, allow us to provide you with a list of the things that you can do to make all these happen:
Talk To Your Child
Make sure that you establish a good connection or relationship with your child so that he will feel comfortable to open up to you. Do not hesitate to observe the way your kid acts to ensure that you can quickly identify if something is wrong.
Cook Healthy Meals
As much as possible, avoid buying fast food items for your kids. Keep in mind that it is always a good idea to prepare your own food choices. In so doing, everyone in your family can begin to follow a healthy lifestyle. As such, it is best if you will start to plan meals for a given week so that you can save more time.
Consult A Doctor
Keep in mind that medical consultation is essential for kids. As such, it is ideal for you to bring in your kid to his pediatrician regularly. It is an excellent way of finding out whether or not your child is in good shape. The said doctor can also prescribe medicines or potential treatments for your child.