Children’s Mental Health

As a nation overall, the United States needs to improve how it diagnoses, treats and handles citizens suffering from mental health disorders. One of the areas that receives the least amount of effort and concern is the area of children’s mental health. Too often mental health disorders in children are written off by family doctors and parents as “That’s just Susie being a kid.”, or “That is just how William is.”.  Many times, these conditions are diagnosed years later when a serious event occurs. In an attempt to raise awareness of children’s mental health issues, the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health has designated May 5th – May 11th as Children’s Mental Health Awareness Week. The theme this year is “Out of the Shadows: Exposing Stigma” and they have several events planned. You can find out more by visiting their website. So what are the signs that your child could be suffering from a mental health disorder? Changes in Behavior – Has your outgoing, rambunctious child suddenly become withdrawn and quiet? Dropping Grades in School – Is you’re A/B student now performing at a D/F level? Mood Swings – Does your child go from happy to sad within a matter of minutes? Unexplained Weight Loss – Has your child had a weight loss of more than 10 lbs. over a month? Physical Harm – Has your child starting cutting or mutilating their body or attempted suicide? If your child is experiencing one or more of the symptoms above, you should talk to your child about their thoughts and feelings. Find out what is causing these changes. It may require you to reach out to the school for any issues occurring there with a [...]

Quick Tips for an Easy Transition from Summer to School

I can't believe that Summer is winding down. Colleges and universities are already back in session. Elementary, middle and high schools have either already started or are starting soon. The transition from summer to fall can be difficult for parents and children alike. This can result in rebellion, acting out and anger from the children and anxiety, stress and anger from the parents. So what can you do to make this transition as easy as possible for both parties?   Plan - Prior to the beginning of classes, begin to      get yourself and your children back on to a schedule for school. This may      include reduced screen time, earlier bedtimes and earlier wake times. Dry Run - Take yourself and your children through a      dry run of both the morning and evening routines. This should include a      ride to the school or bus stop, pick up from school or the bus stop and a      drive to any after school locations for extended care, sports practices or      other extracurriculars. Pack your Patience - Things may not run smoothly the      first days/weeks of school so remember to be patient as issues get      resolved. Remember, you are the adult so take a deep breath, count to 10,      recite a mantra or walk away if needed. Enjoy - Right now you might think that these school      days are going to last forever. Before you know it, your child will have      grown up and moved on. Don't forget to take the time to enjoy these      experiences even if they try your patience. If nothing else, they will      make for funny stories to share together in the future. [...]