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Does my kid need help?

Kids are resilient. Whether it’s physical sickness or injury, a major disappointment, a move to a new home, or the passing of a family pet, kids seem to have a special power that helps them heal and return to balance—to regain “the aliveness of the present moment”—as the spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle describes it.

But not always…

Kids are also sensitive and vulnerable, susceptible to experiences and conditions that may be difficult or harmful, and sometimes taking even longer to recover and heal.

Resilient, sensitive, vulnerable—kids are human beings—and like adults are beings who best thrive when basic needs are met, including emotional security and love.

Kids have been affected profoundly by the pandemic, whether it’s evident on the surface or not. Disruptions and readjustments with school. Enforced isolation that thwarts social life and getting together with playmates and friends. Work changes and job losses of parents and caregivers. You can add to the list of impacts almost without end.

In coping with such change, kids take cues from the adults around them, instinctively following the examples of those they trust and depend upon. Every parent, caregiver, and teacher is acutely aware of this and the additional sense of stress it can cause when we are feeling vulnerable, frightened or uncertain ourselves.

In these stressful times, how do we differentiate our own feelings from those our child is experiencing? How can we tell if our child needs additional help?

As always, observation and conversation are good places to start. You know your child best. Trust your gut. If something doesn’t seem right, it probably isn’t.

  • Is your child experiencing problems in multiple areas—school, friendships, family relationships, play and leisure activities?
  • Withdrawing from family, friends or activities they typically enjoy?
  • Engaging in negative behavior more frequently?
  • Demonstrating significant changes in eating or sleep habits?
  • Expressing excessive worry about the future?
  • Talking about or engaging in any kind of self-harm?

Take the lead in talking about your concern with your child. Oftentimes, just saying, ‘Does this feel like something we should get some help with?’ provides the opening for your child to answer ‘yeah, it does.’

We’re here to help, even if you’re not sure. To ask questions or to schedule an appointment, call us at 303-617-2300.

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