Not My Child: Heal Behavioral Health

Not My Child: Heal Behavioral Health

As parents, we want to provide our children with the best opportunities for healthy development. However, sometimes our kids struggle with behavioral health issues that we don’t fully understand. These challenges can leave parents feeling scared, overwhelmed, and even ashamed.

The truth is, behavioral disorders like anxiety, depression, ADHD and more are surprisingly common – but that doesn’t make them any easier for families to navigate. The good news is that with compassion, education and access to support, children can thrive despite mental health difficulties.

Understanding Common Behavioral Disorders

The first step is getting informed about common conditions like:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Eating disorders
  • Trauma disorders

While scary, these disorders are treatable, especially when identified early. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms, building coping strategies, identifying triggers, and making lifestyle changes tailored to the child’s needs.

Getting Support

As a parent, you may be unsure of the best way to help your child. That’s understandable – behavioral health can be complex to navigate. The good news is there are compassionate professionals ready to help, including:

  • Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • School counselors
  • Support groups
  • Treatment centers

Seeking guidance takes courage but reaching out can greatly benefit your child’s health and your family’s wellbeing.

Creating a Compassionate Home Environment

While professional treatment is crucial, the home environment also impacts behavioral health outcomes. As a family, focus on fostering:

  • Open communication – Set aside device-free time each day for talking
  • Patience and empathy – Seek to understand rather than judge
  • Routines – Predictability encourages stability
  • Self care – Model healthy coping mechanisms
  • Support systems – Connect with understanding friends and relatives

The home should be a safe space for children to share struggles without shame.

Focusing on Progress Over Perfection

When a child faces behavioral health challenges, parents often blame themselves or feel like failures. But the truth is, external factors ranging from genetics to environment to trauma play major roles. Progress will likely happen slowly with ups and downs rather than overnight success. As a family, focus on celebrating small wins, like:

  • Making it to therapy consistently
  • Learning a new coping strategy
  • Getting through a tough day at school

With consistent compassionate support, children can thrive.

Frequently Asked Questions

How common are behavioral disorders in kids?

Surprisingly common! For example, 7.1% of children aged 3-17 are estimated to have behavioral disorders. Early intervention makes a big difference.

What’s the best first step if I’m worried about my child’s mental health?

Speaking with your child’s doctor is a great start. They can refer you to mental health specialists like therapists and psychologists for evaluation and treatment.

Are behavioral issues just a normal part of growing up?

Occasional difficulties with emotions or behavior are typical for kids. But consistent, disruptive symptoms, falling grades, withdrawal from friends, or harming behaviors signal it’s time to seek help from a professional.

We’ve tried everything. What else can we do to help our child?

Healing isn’t linear. Revisit treatment plans with your child’s care team if they aren’t working. Trying new therapies, adjusting medications, identifying trigger patterns or considering intensive programs like residential treatment centers may help.

Will my child always struggle with behavioral health issues?

Not always! Consistent treatment and support build coping skills over time. Your child may still be predisposed to disorders like anxiety but can learn to manage symptoms and thrive.