Good health is an important aspect of well-being. It can sometimes be easier to identify the physical needs of children than to identify their mental and emotional needs. Just as kids need food, sleep, exercise, regular check-ups, and a healthy living environment, they also need love, self-confidence, playtime with other kids, encouragement, security, and guidance and limits.
We are ready when kids who are learning to walk, snowboard, or ride a bike fall down and hurt themselves. We are prepared for children to be sick with colds and fevers.
As parents, we may not be as confident when dealing with situations such as a typically happy, confident child whose behavior changes when they are going to a new school or a teenager who spends most of their time in their room, listening on head phones. We might be embarrassed when our toddler has a tantrum or our 9 year old throws the bat when they strike out or when our 16 year old yells at us while at the mall.
Sometimes it takes another adult, knowledgeable about child development, to spot a child who is struggling physically, mentally, or emotionally.
It can be hard to hear a teacher or child care provider tell you they are worried about your child’s behavior but, as with physical symptoms, early action can make a big difference.
So, whether you’re wondering if a child’s behavior is “normal” or someone else has suggested that you look for resources to address your child’s behavior, we have pulled together some resources, including information on where to go if you need more help.