You know your children well because you see them every day. You also know when they’re acting weird. If you think that your child isn’t the same person anymore, it could be a sign of a mental health issue. Of course, you don’t want to panic and assume that things aren’t going well. You’re not a mental health expert after all.
If you think that your child is going through a tough time, these are the ways for you to determine the problem so you can take immediate action.
Talk to the friends
You need to reach out to your child’s closest friends since they might know the problem. It could be a romantic relationship or academic issue. You don’t usually follow-up with your child regarding these issues all the time, but their friends notice. Even if your child doesn’t confide everything to their friends, they can see what’s going on.
Go to the school
You can ask the administrators at school to know if you’re the only person who has noticed the problem. It’s possible you’re not the only one who sees these issues. Ask for feedback from the teachers and talk about the academic status of your child. This problem might have been going on for a while and has severely affected their performance in school.
Talk to your child
There’s no better way to know if your child has a problem than by having a direct and honest conversation. Go to your child’s bedroom and talk about the problem. You can also do it during dinner. Find the right moment when you feel like your child is comfortable to discuss the issue. Don’t be aggressive in asking questions. Be patient and wait for your child to respond and open up to you.
Things to avoid
When you feel desperate to determine what’s wrong, you might do things that could worsen the situation. For instance, you will go through your child’s property in the hope of finding a diary that contains everything you need to know. You might also spy on your child by secretly hiding in your car. Yes, your concern is understandable, but if your child becomes aware of it, your relationship might be strained further.
You also have to avoid scolding your child. It doesn’t help in any way. Forcing your child to speak or getting angry because of the behavioural change won’t make the situation better.
Most of all, avoid punishing your child because of these actions. Your punishment might hurt an already tarnished relationship. Your child might also have suicidal tendencies, and the punishment might push them towards the end of the rope.
You have to understand what your child is going through and try your best to make your presence felt. When you think that things aren’t getting better, it might be time to ask for help from mental health experts. You can consider therapy Oak Park offers to deal with the problem. Your child might not be comfortable opening up with you, but it might be okay with someone else.