“My son was five when I considered the fact that we might need to take him to a counsellor or a therapist. He would just no go out of the house and play with other kids. At nursery school, he would refuse to indulge in activities that children from his age were participating in. At first at I thought he might just be different than others in terms of his likings but few other incidents which I would not like to mention here, convinced me that he needed help. I was reluctant at the beginning but now when I see him happy, joyful and enjoying, I feel relieved that I took that decision. It was scary to accept that your child needs a therapist but now when I look back, I think it has been one of the most important decisions of my life.”
What you just read is an account of a father who was faced with a dilemma as to why his son would face so many difficulties and act out of the normal in certain situations. He struggled with the fact if his son was just different or something seriously bothered him. After months of deliberation he took the decision to take his son to see a therapist. Few years down the line, he can see the change in the behaviour of his son and now he is happy.
But how would determine whether your child needs counselling or not. We provide you with 5 ways which can help you figure out:
1). Don’t ignore the subtle indications:
Children usually don’t directly communicate with the people around them. If something is bothering them then it is not necessary, that they will come out and straight away tell you. They will, however, leave indications in other things they do. For example, pay attention to what you kid draws and which colours he uses. If the drawings are becoming more and more darker and constantly consists of monsters, ghosts or anything negative, then probably he might need something more than just a saying from you. If he is not happy to dress up and would throw away clothes as soon as you put them on, and this continuously go on for few days; this is also a sign that he might be going through something.
2). Talking about death, or thinking about it repeatedly:
It’s pretty normal for your child to explore the topic of death. She might initiate the talks once in a while, but repeated talks about death and dying is always a worrisome warning sign. Keep your ears open to statements which might include thoughts of suicide or even killing someone. Be aware that these statements would not be blatantly clear as they would be coming from a child after all but if the underlying essence you get from the statements revolve around death or killing then she needs help immediately.
3). Feeling of helplessness or isolation:
If your child constantly shouts at you to leave him alone and is distancing himself from his friends, then you might want to take this seriously more than just a mood swing. Be on the lookout for statements such as, “Everyone hates me” or “I’m a loser” or “I have no friends” or “You don’ love me”.
4). Constant unexplainable physical problems:
Some children might exhibit physical symptoms, such as the sudden onset of unexplained head or stomach aches, changes in appetite or sleep disturbances. These concerns may need to be checked out by the child’s regular doctor, but are often associated with stressful experiences in her life and can be alleviated by speaking with a therapist. Parents aren’t always equipped to know what to do.
5). Self-destructing behaviour:
Children always tend to be self-destructive as they explore the world around them. Sometimes children kids do bang their heads against things without intent to harm themselves. Repeated self-destructive behaviour, however, is an issue-like, if she’s digging her nails into skin to try to cause pain, or cutting or hitting herself.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor or a qualified therapist if your child seems to be having a problem. Quick attention can help him better overcome the issues he’s coping with, and lead a happier and healthier childhood.