Did you know that 1 in every 10 young children suffer from some kind of mental health problem? From anxiety, depression, conduct disorder to challenges with handling emotions and feelings, mental health is a broad spectrum. It is an umbrella term to cover all unusual behaviors found in youngsters as a result of improper upbringing.

Is your child mentally well?

In some instances, a child may not develop age-appropriate thinking, behavior, social skills, or regulation of emotions. This borders on the mental disorder that has to be properly diagnosed by a specialist. In other cases, a child may suffer from temporary (or threateningly long-term) mental illness that may involve anxiety, mood swings, eating disorders, or PTSD.

However, both kinds of mental health problems are characterized by specific warning signs that tend to aggravate according to the complexity. While below are some of the warning signs indicating mental illness or disorder, it must be kept in mind that nobody knows a child better than his/her parent. As an adult and guardian, it is your job to carefully monitor your offspring and help them manage the symptoms.

  • Chronic sadness that persists for more than weeks
  • Avoiding social interactions more than usual
  • Sudden outbursts or extreme irritability
  • Drastic changes in mood or behavior
  • Hurting oneself or talking about death, suicide
  • Changes in eating habit
  • Difficulty sleeping or loss of sleep
  • Difficulty concentrating at school, leading to underperformance

There might be many more signs and symptoms that can indicate abnormal behavior in your child. If you come across one, there's no need to panic. With proper care and time, you can help your child come out of the illness if it's curable.

How can you help your child battle with mental illness?

Build trust and foster relationship with your child

There should not be a need to say it, but parents tend to get ignorant of a child's unusual behavior or conduct, especially when he/she is very young and school-going. It is extremely important to foster trust in your relationship with your child to allow him/her to speak openly about their feelings. If they don't trust you enough to accept them or embrace their odd behavior, they would never find the courage to talk about it.

Teach stress management

In case of anxiety, depression, or mood swings, you must teach your child how to manage stress. Talk to them like friends, be consistent in your discussion every day, and tell them that stress/failure/shortcomings are going to be part of life. It is wise to learn how to deal with it instead of being taken into a storm every time it happens.

Play together and establish healthy eating habits

If you don't know the importance of a healthy diet and physical activity, you're in for a surprise. Eating healthy must always be a priority, mental illness or not. Dedicate an hour or two to physical activity and sports, where you bond with your kid over a football and have fun together. The rush of emotions and adrenaline helps refresh the brain and ebb the stress away.

Identifying mental illness in children can be a bit tricky. You may confuse it with the child being stubborn, shy, or in outrage. Yet proper measures like bonding, boosting self-esteem, eating healthy, and teaching stress management can help your kid fight the illness in the long run.

Our slogan here at Don't Fit In is: Don't Sit Still. Don't Fit in. to us that means that you and your child can take the measures needed to ensure you are doing what you can to take care of yourself, you are always growing, you are putting yourself first, you are learning, you are practicing self care. It also means that you are becoming confident with who you are, you accept yourself and your differences, and most importantly you love yourself. Shop our clothing with our slogan to support this message. 

Courtney North

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