Children's Mental Health Week!
They say everyone on the planet will go through some kind of mental health issue sometime in their lifetime and that on its own is scary! To think that kids as young as 5 can be going through metal health as well just flabbergasts me! Its literally heartbreaking coz kids shouldn't have any worries that's for us adults to deal with. Kids should be having fun with no responsibilities (apart from tidying away their toys, lol!)
I have found being a mum of two boys and two girls, that girls do worry more from such a young age! My Ruby is 8 and she worries more than me! I'm like.. "you only need to worry about your school work and even then you don't need to worry as long as you do the best you can".
Yes I do think Covid has had a big impact on our kids, Madison had separation anxiety for a while but I also think us parents and the schools can do more coz in my eyes my child's mental health is much more important than how well they do academically coz they won't do well in school if they have underlining mental health issues.
This is the age that matters the most coz this is when limiting beliefs stick and we carry them with us till adulthood so putting the right things in our children's heads is crucial! Go ahead and see what your beliefs are with this worksheet I created for you... you can print it out the links under the image >>>
My Own Experience
As a young child I don't have many memories coz unfortunately when I was around 5 an incident happened whilst my mum was hard at work, it traumatised me for years to come!
In hindsight we were very lucky kids we had holiday's and road trip's we were very much loved but as I got to my teenage years with all the hormones and body changes I found it very hard to deal with my past trauma and so it came out in other ways.....
I disliked myself
I self harmed
I drank alcohol
I tried drugs
I found it hard to trust and be close with the men in my life
I needed a purpose which is why I was a young mum!
It took me till my 30's that I finally worked on myself and my mindset, I finally could say I love myself, I believe in myself and what led me to this eye opening journey was working online as an entrepreneur coz that's the first thing they tell you, you have to have the right mindset and if you don't you need to work on it till you do!
So when I was younger and had my boys they gave me a purpose in life, I lived for them and then as I got older I found myself and now I live for myself (of course my kids too) but you shouldn't need a reason outside of yourself to live you should live for YOU coz you have a purpose, we all have a purpose in life and mine is helping others become better versions of themselves! What is yours? If you don't know you have the answers inside yourself! If you need help come join my Facebook group!
My Son's Experience
My son Logan has experienced mental health issues, firstly his school and myself did not recognise he was dyslexic so this is why he needed more help, which he did not get they just said he had ADHD but he didn't he was just extremely frustrated! He didn't know what was going on with him and he just lacked the confidence so in the end he refused to go to school as he didn't see the point so I home schooled him. (As well as other incidents that occurred)
He had a tutor for reading and writing coz that's what I thought he needs to focus on coz if he can't read how can he learn anything? I also got him an appointment with Children & Adolescence Mental Health Service (CAMHS) coz it got to the point where he was having suicidal though's and yes he was honest and open and told me, so I see this as a cry for help but also a blessing for me coz he came and told me!
It was an extremely scary time but then Covid hit and a little miss communication we no longer had appointments with them, but moving forward things have gotten better! He still needs to work on his confidence and decide what he wants to do with his life but his metal health is not as bad as it was, but still needs work! I gotta say tho if it wasn't for PlayStation live he would of found it so much harder and isolating, their just needs to be boundaries with the amount of time your kids spend gaming.
Signs Of Depression Or Anxiety In Children
Sometimes the signs can be hard to see coz some children are good at hiding things but just make sure you speak with your child regularly and reassure them they can come and talk to you about anything anytime. I have been very lucky with my kids so far they always come to me and when they need me, sometimes they can overshare lol, or even be brutally honest, thanks Madison I know I have fat bits you don't need to remind me daily, or maybe its keeping me motivated? lol! So here are some signs you can be aware of...
A change in eating habits, emotional binge eating, don't feel like eating
Not interested in doing anything even the things they used to love
A change in sleeping habits
Not wanting to socialise and being withdrawn
Low self worth and self esteem
Always emotional and tearful
Mood swings, not being able to control their emotions
Anxiety: (some are similar to depression)
Wanting to be alone all the time, avoid social gatherings
A change in sleeping habits
A change in eating habits
Always feeling "high strung" and irritated
Worrying all the time about everything
The feeling of an elephant sitting on your chest << ready my poem
So know I know the signs and think my child may be suffering with depression or anxiety, how do I help them? What are the next steps?
Ways You Can Help Your Child
As a parent you will feel responsible if you realise your child is depressed or suffering with anxiety but you need to put your own feelings aside and focus on how you can help your child coz it may not have anything to do with you so blaming yourself will not help, taking these steps will...
Letting them know its ok to be open and honest about how their feeling
Show them that you support them and are their when they need you
Staying calm and in control for them so you are approachable
If they feel uncomfortable talking in person let them know they can text you or even write you a letter. (Maybe get them a journal if they like to write)
Get your own support network, seek help from professionals, support groups and family and friends
Together try coping tools such as, yoga, meditation, breathing techniques and growth mindset & journaling their feelings
As hard as it is they don't always feel comfortable talking to you so be supportive helping them talk to their GP, a counsellor at school or even child-line?
54% of all Childline counselling sessions were related to emotional health and wellbeing, including self-harm and suicidal thoughts and feelings, in 2020/21
Why Is Your Child Self Harming?
Their are many reason your child or teen will turn to self harm I know coz I was one of them. For me it made me feel in control and gave me a sense of release at the time but I came to realise hurting myself was not the answer and was not actually making me feel better!
Here we look at some of the reasons why your child is self harming coz if you figure out the cause your better able to help them overcome it.
They could be feeling alone or being bullied
They could be feeling like their not in control of their life making them angry or numb
They could be experiencing anxiety, depression or an eating disorder
They could be having problems at home or if they have had a loss in the family they will be grieving
They could be going through some sort of abuse like, emotional, sexual or physical
They could be feeling low and no sense of self worth