Education: My child is not well: what should I do?

Education: My child is not well: what should I do?
Education: My child is not well: what should I do?

Just like adults, children go through trials that generate stress, anxiety, sadness… While some are easily managed and help them grow, others can, if we are not careful, have lasting consequences. How to recognize a child or adolescent who is not doing well? What to do to help him ?

When a child or adolescent is unwell, they generally do not express it. It is rare for a child to go to their parent and say: “I feel sad, I’m not well, can you help me?”

Especially since some young people take it upon themselves, make a lot of effort to adapt to a difficult situation and hide their discomfort, to the detriment of their psychological well-being. The parent must listen, so as not to miss any possible suffering. Knowing the different stages of a child’s development allows the parent not to worry unnecessarily and to distinguish a temporary problem from a deeper malaise.

What should alert

Indeed, it is not a question of worrying at the slightest mood swing. It is common for a child or adolescent to have periods when they feel less well. He may have disturbed sleep, feel on edge…

This is all the more normal during adolescence, where young people go through major hormonal and physiological upheavals. “As long as these disturbances remain transient and not very intense, there is no reason to worry. But if they last over time – beyond a fortnight – and take on significant proportions, we must be vigilant”,warns Anne Gramond, child psychiatrist and author of the books 100 ideas to better manage problems with teenagers And 100 ideas to help a child who is unwell (Tom Pousse editions).

A change in behavior should raise alarm. We have the impression that there is a before and an after. The manifestations of distress can be varied: irritability, anger… The young person can also withdraw into himself, stop going out, no longer have a social life… A lack of motivation can set in, with difficulty concentrating, forgotten or lost equipment, and a drop in academic results. We must also pay attention to everything relating to healthy living: the young person stuffs himself with sugary food, he stocks up on junk food in a closet in his bedroom, his sleep seems disturbed because he is always tired when he wakes up. We can also see somatic manifestations such as recurring headaches or stomach aches, which are often expressed on Sunday evenings, and can be accompanied by absenteeism. As soon as the problems persist and all areas of the child’s life – family, friends, schooling, etc. – are impacted, there is suffering.”

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