Raising a child can be a rewarding, beautiful journey where you get to learn so much and get the opportunity to grow immensely. Parents often find that their entire worldview shifts with the birth of their children. However, raising children isn’t all fun and games. Children can be exceptionally naughty and challenging to deal with sometimes. Children also go through phases of defiance and rebellion, which can be exhausting for parents to handle. However, while all these phases may be typical, parents need to recognize when their child might be showing symptoms of something more serious. Children are just as susceptible to developing mental illnesses as adults, but they may have different ways of showing it. Furthermore, there are some disorders unique to children, which can be difficult for parents to understand. If you’re willing to learn about some of the common conditions affecting children, keep reading below.
Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
ADHD is undeniably one of the most common disorders among children and poses significant issues if it isn’t managed correctly. ADHD can start manifesting early in childhood and make children appear distracted, forgetful, restless, impulsive, and fidgety. Your child may jump from task to task without ever finishing anything, may have sudden outbursts, and might have periods of immense restlessness. It’s easy for parents to confuse these symptoms with general hyper behavior in kids. However, if the hyperactivity is such that it interferes with your child’s normal functioning, you might need to seek help.
Seeking counseling for kids can seem like a difficult choice, but it’s ultimately the best one for your kids. Children’s counselors can treat their unique needs better than anyone and help develop coping strategies to let them lead healthy lives. Getting counseling for kids can turn their lives around and help them manage their symptoms through behavioral and emotional interventions. Children’s counselors recognize the significance of childhood development. They do their best to ensure your child can lead a vigorous life.
Anxiety disorders are yet another common occurrence amongst children and one that can leave a lasting impact on your child’s life. Living with anxiety can mean that your child is continuously scared, apprehensive, timid, and unwilling to experience all the things they should. However, that isn’t all. In severe cases, anxiety disorders can escalate into selective mutism, where a child refuses to speak in certain situations. They can also experience severe separation anxiety, OCD, and phobias.
There are numerous ways you can address anxiety disorders in children. For starters, you can ask them what causes them to feel irritable, fearful, or anxious. It can help you understand them better and can show them that they can talk to you. You can then help them develop solutions to situations that make them anxious and do your best to help implement these solutions. It’s also vital to let children understand that anxiety is natural. However, it’s also crucial to recognize when self-help measures aren’t helping. If you notice no improvement, it might be best to seek professional help.
Oppositional defiant disorder
As discussed earlier, children often have phases where they act out, defy authority, and annoy others on purpose. However, all children grow out of these phases soon enough and don’t cause serious problems. An oppositional defiant disorder is when your child displays aggression and resentment that has a lasting impact. It usually manifests between 8-12 years of age and is more prevalent in boys than girls. If your child has ODD, they might lash out frequently, especially at the most familiar adults in their lives. Furthermore, they might through temper tantrums, have low self-esteem, and refuse to obey rules.
It can seem impossible to deal with ODD alone, but with some perseverance, you can. Children with ODD often look to pick a fight, for starters, and if you keep arguing with them, you’re falling into the trap. Instead, maintain your composure when your child bothers you, and the outbursts may fade. Additionally, give your children a structured environment to get enough sleep and proper nutrition to reduce irritability. It’s also essential to reward your child’s successes, be it when they manage their emotions correctly or in any other facet of life.
Children with OCD may have a hard time coping with their symptoms because they’re often strange and difficult to understand. They may have intrusive, strange thoughts that they feel they have no control over, and these recurring images can cause a great deal of stress. Furthermore, they may experience compulsions, such as repeating behaviors, counting, or touching. They may also have certain cleanliness rituals and may need to follow strict mental rules to make an obsession fade. Dealing with such erratic behaviors can be extremely difficult for children. OCD has a biological and genetic link.
Managing OCD can be challenging for parents, but there are specific rules you can reinforce that can help fade away the OCD with time. Once you have guidelines from your counselor, you can begin taking measures at home too. Firstly, if you give in to your child’s compulsions, they won’t fade. You need to help your child understand that it’s the OCD making them do certain things and that they need to control it. When they manage to control their obsessions and compulsions, you need to reinforce the behavior with rewards.
Language skills are essential for a child’s development, but children with language disorders can fail to learn critical language skills. Their disability does not stem from their hearing skills but is more of a mental impediment. Children with language disabilities may have a lesser vocabulary than children of the same age. They may have a hard time recalling words. They may say words in the wrong order.
Language therapy is commonly the best way to address language disorders, but you can take specific home measures. It’s vital to be patient as your child forms questions and responses, and it’s essential to encourage them to respond as well as they can.
It can be challenging to deal with a child having behavioral or emotional issues. However, this guide can help you better understand how you can tackle such issues. While this isn’t an exhaustive list of the problems a child can have, these are some of the more common issues children face. It is imperative to monitor your child for any mental health problems and seek help if these issues persist.