The Post-Covid fallout has placed parents and children in adversarial situations and strained relationships. Reasons abound. The child could be inattentive in class, struggle to sustain friendships, become the target of bullying, or create a stir for no reason. Many parents ignore their child’s need to see a therapist to have someone to talk to and express their feelings.
And the bad news gets compounded – According to the CDC, out of all children diagnosed with mental, emotional, and social disorders, only 20 percent of children see a therapist.
While having your child speak regularly with a mental health care provider is a great idea, when would parents know it’s time to seek educational therapy services for their child?
Your child could benefit from associating closely with an educational therapist.
The 7 unmissable signals that your child needs therapy
- Mood swings are frequent, often with temper tantrums
As a parent closely in contact with children through one’s waking life, it should be possible to discern sudden or sharp shifts in behavior or the child’s demeanor.
For example, a reserved, reticent child could turn aggressive, even abusive, or an ordinarily extroverted child could become sullen and withdrawn. Such children could benefit from Psychoeducational assessments that improve cognitive, academic, and emotional growth.
Three behavioral factors associated with mood swings are definitive indicators that the child needs to talk to a mental health professional:
- Marked aggression: Seemingly low profile issues such as cleaning their room or finishing the homework before going to bed could trigger anger, irritability, and aggression that need interventional therapy.
- Sustained sadness: A mental health disorder, a personal tragedy, or the loss of a dear one could become difficult for a child to process and grief pays a visit with bursts of low self-esteem.
Some of the best outcomes have come through educational therapy for autism and other disorders such as ADHD in schoolgoers.
- Inattentiveness as a learning disorder: Difficulty comprehending abstract concepts, inattentiveness in class, and inability to forge relationships with peers and school faculty might force children to withdraw into a shell.
- Dislike going to school or faking attendance and absenting class
The occasional disinclination to ride to school can be excused especially if the reasons are valid. But if feelings of loathing, dread, or outright fear are reasons for avoiding school, the parent should consult a caregiver.
In the post-pandemic era, increasing stress levels in children has led to schools becoming playing grounds for bullying, and this could be a reason worth probing.
With teens, it is advisable to check in regularly with teachers (ensuring the child knows you’re doing it) to red-flag absenteeism and nip problems in the bud before they go out of control.
Sadness and anger alone are harmless if the underlying issues are not part of any bigger problem you haven’t detected.
- Consistently getting grades way below their potential
A sharp downturn in academic performance visible in lower grades on the child’s report card should worry the parent, especially if the child is performing way below its known potential.
- Withdrawn and depressed with fewer social contacts
The healthiest part of childhood is forging relationships and building social networks. It’s a huge red flag if a usually friendly child becomes reclusive and withdraws from social contacts. A quiet chat with teachers and friends might elicit the information the child needs to get along with peers and colleagues.
- Elevated stress while dealing with physical transformation
Something that eludes specialists, doctors, and therapists, and only a parent can detect, is the child’s stress response to its physical transformation through teen and adolescence.
It could be raging hormones, an upset tummy, the consciousness of their appearance and attractiveness, loss of appetite, or weight gain; are you as a parent satisfied that it’s part of a normal growth cycle and that the child doesn’t need therapy?
- Favored friends and favorite activities are receding
The favorite book is discarded, the much-loved sport is abandoned, and fast friendships and beautiful hobbies seem to take a back seat.
The child losing interest and opting out of activities or consciously withdrawing from human interaction is usually the outcome of bullying or adult abuse.
Parents working with behavioral therapists can respond and remedy the distress with assurance, empathy, and sensitivity.
- Children make it clear they can’t cope with burgeoning challenges
Children with communicative parents will show they face challenges and may suggest therapy. At this stage, the onus is on the parent to emphasize that educational therapy is the acceptable norm and a valuable tool that affects positive life changes.
As parents, we respect the importance of educational therapy and ensure the child retains complete freedom not to reveal every detail of therapy sessions. Nurture a giving, forgiving, and trusting environment in the home, as that works wonders in healing mental health issues.
Mental health issues among youth veered from crisis to emergency before COVID-19 struck. The post-pandemic scenario has brought the problems into the open as concerned parents begin to understand the benefits of having children undergo guided educational therapy programs.
We hope this guide will enlighten you as a parent and that your children gain maximum benefits from therapy to lead purposeful, happy, and successful lives.
Speaks from heart, always too passionate and driven by emotions. Spins the words with kindness & sharpness, intriguing your ever-inscrutable minds.