Look for warning signs during the school break
With the fun of summer upon us, sometimes we forget that changes in routine can be stressful for kids. And parents often face increased anxiety about their children’s behavior during these less structured months.
Here at Carrier Clinic®, we encourage parents to pay attention to warning signs for mental health and substance abuse concerns, but we know the warning signs aren’t always obvious. Here are some “what-to-watch-for” tips from our experts:
1) Look for changes in behavior.
Sleeping a lot can indicate depression; wearing long sleeves on hot days may be a sign of self-inflicted injury or drug abuse; avoiding interactions with peers could be the result of bullying. Watch for, talk about, and address worrisome behaviors.
2) Monitor online activity.
Doing so allows you to be aware of your kids’ browsing and app habits. There are many advantages of the internet and social media, but they can also be sources for online bullying, comparison anxiety, gambling addiction, and a host of negative influences.
3) Listen carefully.
If your child expresses fears, anxieties, complaints, or worries, keep communication open and non-judgmental. Ask questions. If mental health or addiction issues come up, addressing them immediately increases the chances for a positive outcome.
You know your child best. If any of your child’s behaviors have you concerned, speak to your pediatrician immediately.
For more information, you can find articles with videos on related topics affecting children in our Information Center.