As a parent, it is gratifying to understand your child’s view of the world as he/she grows. Teaching new skills to your child, helping them process new feelings, and mentoring them is all a part of parenting, but it is never easy.
Every child undergoes progressive development from birth to adulthood. These development stages are influenced by genetic, environmental, and cultural factors that determine how swiftly they progress from one stage to another.
As such, children may face difficulty in analyzing their feelings and express their state of mind. Here is where a child psychologist can help by giving you valuable information on your child’s musings.
What is Child Psychiatry?
Child Psychiatry is a type of therapy that focuses on teens, children, and adolescents suffering from mental traumas. It also supports youth who have already experienced trauma or coping with a stressful home environment.
Most often, children mimic those issues that adults face in their everyday life. Some of them include depression, anxiety, and grief. Child psychiatry aims to break down these issues into manageable chunks and help children cope with the situation.
How Can a Child Psychiatry Help?
All parents wish for their child’s healthy development but are confused between normal and abnormal behavior symptoms.
A child psychologist can help clear your understanding of the same and make better connections with the child. Here are some ways how an expert helps the child thrive in each developmental stage:
A child’s physical development is a series of predictable events. First, the child holds its head up, rolls over, crawls, walk, and run. Psychologists help the pediatrician observe your child’s physical development and make early identification of any developmental irregularities.
They also measure your child’s progression against developmental milestones to ensure normal physical growth.
Help Learn the Coping Mechanisms
Through counseling, children and adolescents can identify and productively deal with their thought process. Although most sessions discuss specific issues, they incorporate thinking and coping strategies applicable to many different situations. A psychologist does not merely aim to fix a problem but helps children develop life-long problem-solving skills.
Social and Emotional Development
Emotional development is how the child understands, feels, and expresses his/her emotions. It is often expressed easily in young children through emotions like sadness, anger, joy, and fear.
However, as the child grows, more complex emotions like hope, confidence, and pride emerge and make emotion regulation difficult. A psychologist can help your child understand the feelings early on and facilitate smooth emotional development.
Emotional development is directly related to social development, since expressing feelings impacts social interaction. Professionals lay the foundation for developing age-appropriate social skills like conflict management, friendship, trust, and authority.
Help in Thinking Beyond Oneself
Counselling is not just about oneself but aims to develop an understanding of other people’s reactions and emotions. Psychologists are undoubtedly compassionate and empathetic but are also impartial. Hence, they are better qualified than family members to provide different perspectives of a situation.
Seeking professional consultation helps in understanding people’s behaviour and their motivation. This brings comfort, eliminates the feelings of isolation and negative emotions. Most importantly, it is another skill that your child learns and practices, leading to effective handling of social interactions in the future.
When Should You Take Action?
When it comes to a child’s mental well-being, you may be bombarded by friends and family’s advice about waiting for the child to grow out of the problem. While it is indeed a piece of good advice, it may not work for all. Here are some signs that recommend you seek consultation from a child psychologist:
- Cutting: If you discover your child hurting himself/herself, even as a one-time affair, you must seek help. This dangerous behaviour indicates your child’s way of dealing with a mental health issue.
- Disorders with Eating: Do not ignore if your child is suffering from an eating disorder. The more you wait, the greater is the difficulty for your child to recover.
- Family History: There are increased chances for a child to developmental disorders if the illness runs in your family. Remember to act promptly and get the necessary, timely checkups for the child.
Handling your child’s emotional and mental problems must be done with care and at the earliest.
A child psychologist is qualified enough to get a deeper look into your child’s mental health and analyze the challenges. As such, counselling must not become a mere reactive measure but has to become a part of your proactive family health plan.