Monday, August 17, 2020

When to seek help for your child: Children (Part 1 of 3)


And he said:

Your children are not your children.

They are the sons and daughters of

life’s longing for itself.

They come through you, but not from you.

And though they are with you,  they belong not to you...

you are the bow from which your children as living

arrows are sent forth.

from Kahlil Gibran,  The Prophet

Previously I’ve shared work from one of the UNR faculty, Tom Lavin, MFT, LADC. He recently wrote a piece about when to seek help if your child is struggling.

While all of us are facing increased stress due to COVID-19, children are especially vulnerable. There is the disruption to their schedules, being out of school, isolation from peers, trying to learn in their home environment and more. They are also surrounded by reminders about the fragility of life.

In a three-part series I will share Lavin’s advice* on when to seek help, first for children under the age of 12, and then for adolescents (12 and up). The series concludes with some helpful suggestions about questions to ask when considering therapy. 

Today’s post focuses on children. Specifically, if you see any of the following you in your child you should consider seeking outside help:

·        Fall in school performance

·        Poor grades in school despite trying very hard

·        A lot of worry or anxiety

·        New onset hyperactivity/fidgeting that persists

·        Persistent nightmares

·        Persistent disobedience or aggression

·        Provocative opposition to authority figures

·        Frequent, unexplained temper tantrums

 If you have noticed any of the above signs in your child, it may be time to enlist the help of a professional. The first step is to talk to your child’s pediatrician/primary care provider. They can then guide you in the right direction.

It’s a hard time for everyone, even the youngest among us.

Check back next Monday for some of the signs that may signal it is time for you to consider outside help for your adolescent.

*The following resources were cited by Lavin: 

"Understanding Teen Depression” by Emmpfield and Bakalar  

“Overcoming Teen Depression: A Guide for Parents” by Miriam Kaufman, M.D.

  American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: