As a parent, it is easy to feel overwhelmed, confused, and unsure of yourself. And that goes double if you have an aggressive child who is acting out. Children go through daily struggles that are just a normal part of growing up, but if you notice your child is experiencing severe emotions that hinder their daily life, then it may be time to seek outside help.
Don’t let a stigma scare you away from getting your child the help he or she needs. Here are some common signs your child may benefit from therapy services to get to the root of the problem.
When your child is either threatening to endanger themselves or showing behaviors of self-harm
If you overhear your child threatening suicide or self harm, injury to their siblings, or injury to anyone, then it is time to find a certified counselor. While threats are hard to ignore, self harm often happens in secret. That means parents need to check their wrists and legs for a pattern of cuts.
They can’t get out of bed, or are afraid of completing small activities
About 11% of adolescents have a depressive disorder by the age of 18. So if your child has troubles getting out of bed repeatedly, then it can be a sign they are suffering from depression.
Unfortunately, about half of all Americans with major depression do not seek treatment for the illness, so it is imperative you start your child with counseling as soon as you see warning signs like these. In addition, girls are 70% more likely than men to experience depression in their lifetime.
This also goes for anxiety. Some symptoms of anxiety in children are excessive worrying, becoming extremely upset when separated from their parents, being afraid of mundane tasks like going to the store or a friends house, and/or problems socializing with their peers. On their own, any of these problems can be a normal part of childhood and adolescence. But if these problems are interfering with their life or getting worse, then therapy may be the solution.
Their siblings are afraid and are showing signs of detachment
If your other children are scared around your child because of their mood swings or behavioral problems, then it is time to look into counseling services. Family and group therapy is a great idea as it will bring the family together to get to the root of the problem.
Their actions dictate your entire life
If your family’s daily life revolves around your child’s actions, then it is time to head to therapy. If you notice yourself changing your plans to accommodate incessant worrying, or if their moods dictate when and where you go out, then the problem has become too big for you to solve alone.
Remember, these actions don’t have to be permanent. With the help of a dedicated, compassionate therapist, your child will soon be on the path to healing.