It can be challenging to talk about sensitive subjects and problems with your child as a parent. Furthermore, it can be hard to tell if mood swings are just passing or if they are a sign of an emerging issue, that your child needs help handling.
Youth and early adulthood brings a lot of changes and challenges. If you are worried about your child, it can be hard to assess if your worries are related to regular changes and natural development or if something is turning into bigger and tougher problems for your child.
Sometimes it can be hard to figure out what’s up and what’s down. Below you find a list of some of the issues that are important to be aware about when it comes to your child’s development:
- Changes in sleeping patters: Your child sleeps very much or very little
- Changes in mood: Your child has pronounced and frequent mood swings, is irregular, irrational, feels anxiety or socially secluded.
- Changes in behavior: Your child is often in trouble, is very secretive, is drinking alcohol/doing drugs or his/hers grades are dropping.
- Changes in diet and weight: Your child is very concerned with/worried about his or hers bodyweight, eats too much or too little, is secretive around eating habits, is gaining or losing weight fast or throws up after eating.
Some of these challenges are a natural part of your child’s development, buts it’s important to pay attention to whether the changes are going on for a longer period of time and starts to have a great impact on other aspects of your child’s everyday life.
Talking about help
If you’re worried about your child’s health and wellbeing it is often a good idea to talk about it.
- Be open and honest to your child and let your child know that you’re worried
- Tell your child that you’re there for him/her and ask what your child needs from you
- Let your child know about different types of help and tell your child that it’s possible to talk to someone anonymously
- Help you child and find the right help. You could visit headspace and get support and guidance either alone or together
Take care of yourself
It’s important that you, while you help your child, keep an eye on yourself so you stay happy and healthy. It’s central that you feel good and comfortable so that you can offer a greater patience and deliberate approach when you’re helping your child.
Parents and other carers often forget themselves and their own needs when helping others. It is very important that you take care of yourself throughout the process.
In headspace, we don’t offer definite guidance for parents, but we are very happy when parents and others carers plays a part in the process that the child/young person goes through as longs as both parties wishes this. It can be helpful to talk with a headspace councillor is present.