How can you discover the gifts that your child has?
We often hear that each child is special in their own different way. But as a parent, have you been doing enough to identify and nurture that gift in your child?
Psychological analysis isn’t just about diagnosing an illness of disability – it also involves finding the latent strengths and weaknesses that your child has. What are their likes and dislikes; what are their hidden talents; where does their true potential lie – all these questions can be answered at an early age. Seeds of a successful future can be sown at an early age by identifying these signs, creating a positive environment, elimination of maladaptive behaviour, and modifying negative emotions. As a new-age parent, take that first step towards giving your child a future that is just for them. Consider it a present, for their future.
Start by changing your perspective.
A healthy childhood means being fit both physically and mentally. It involves reaching emotional and developmental milestones at an appropriate age, and learning social skills as they enter an increasingly social life. Mentally and emotionally healthy children are believed to have a better quality of life, and are better equipped to face adversities as adults.
Mental Health Disorders Develop Early
Mental health disorders are often chronic disorders that take a long time to develop, and do not go away completely. If these problems are not diagnosed or identified at an early age, they may create problems at home, in schools, in or forming and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Emotional or behavioral problems developed during childhood often continue into adulthood.
Childhood Mental Health Disorders Are Not Always Obvious
Childhood mental disorders are quite tricky. There are few disorders which are very prominent and then others which have such subtle symptoms that are difficult to differentiate from ‘normal’ behavior. For e.g. – A child labeled as naughty, lazy, or slow might be suffering from a serious ADHD problem, which can go undiagnosed and hamper their growth.
But We Can Still Identify Some Early Signs
Just like physical health, mental health disorders too can be diagnosed in a timely manner. As a child goes through different life stages, we can notice potential issues through early signs and behavioral traits. Identifying and correcting these issues is critical to a child’s holistic development.
Age group 0-6 years
At this stage, the child is largely dependent on his/her parents for most of their needs. These are the foundational years that are the most critical to a child’s mental and emotional growth. Look out for certain signs during this life stage:
- Poor sleep pattern
- Difficulty with feeding
- Persistent crying
- Distress and irrational fear
- Failure to meet expected development milestones
- Poor eye contact and social skills
- Poor self-care & dexterity (buttoning, unbuttoning, tying shoe laces, dressing or undressing himself)
- Gets anxious when separated from mother
- Displays difficulty in mixing with children in play school
- Poor verbal and non-verbal communication
- Doesn’t talk or lisps, or has slurred speech
Age group 6-12 years
As your child continues to grow, you will see new and exciting abilities. Every child progresses at a different rate and may develop different interests. Some may enjoy painting, some may enjoy riding a bike and some may enjoy music – each child is different, as we said. This is a crucial stage for a child’s cognitive growth, as they embark on their academic journey. Here are the signs to look out for:
- Poor attention and concentration
- Excessively active kid
- Cannot sit at one place
- Does not like to study
- Frequent complaints from school regarding incomplete homework, spelling mistakes, bad hand writing
- The child’s concept of numbers is poor
- The child is good at everything except academics
- The child is academically very bright but does not have any friends
- Spending excessive time in imaginary play
- Does not listen to others (elders at home/ teacher)
- Aggressive behavior/anger
- Displays significant behavior changes after a sibling is born
- Sudden and drastic behavior changes
- Still bed wetting
At this age your child can identify the problems on their own, but cannot understand them fully. Once they get proper guidance, their self-esteem and self-confidence too gets enhanced.
For e.g. - a child with Dyscalculia understands he has difficulty with Maths, but he is not dumb which raises his self-confidence.
By this age, most girls and boys also attain puberty. This age brings a great amount of excitement but a greater amount of anxiety. Understanding your child and their feelings is very important – for you and for them.
Age group 13-18 years
As the child enters teenage, they become increasingly independent, and distant from their parents. This period can be extremely stressful, as children become more and more involved in different groups within the society. The sudden hormonal and physical change brings in a variety of behavioral and emotional changes:
- Spends excessive time on phone and internet
- Challenges in understanding their interest and academic preferences
- Develop new feelings like crush, love and also go through heart breaks
- Peer pressure problems leading to alcoholism or drugs intake
- Focusing on career can often lead to stress and anxiety
- Excessive concern and focus on self-image and physical appearance
This age is the most difficult phase for most parents. Understanding your child’s adolescent and teenage years and successfully dealing with it is an accomplishment in itself. A little professional help can make it much easier for you.
How Can a Mental Health Professional Help?
There are various structured psychological assessments to evaluate a child’s emotional and behavioral well-being, career preferences, academic difficulties, social skills, etc. Early detection leads to early interventions and early interventions lead to an enriching and functional adulthood.
Benefits of Psychological Assessments
- Discover innate strengths and weakness
- Reveal hidden talents
- Increase problem solving capacity
- Understand areas and subjects of interests and disinterests
- Understanding and improving their temperament
- Improve emotional reactivity to crisis situations and phobia
- Make them adjust better to the society and peer groups
We also provide specialized counselling session for students of various ages, which can help them in various ways.
Benefits of Counseling Sessions for Students
- Strengthens interpersonal communication and interaction skills
- Greater self-acceptance and self-esteem
- Ability to change self-defeating behaviors/habits
- Better expression and management of emotions, including anger
- Great reduction in stubborn behavior, improves emotional stability
- Relief from depression, anxiety or other mental health disorders
- Increased confidence and decision making skills
- Ability to manage stress effectively
- Improved problem solving and conflict resolution abilities
- Builds confidence
- Enhances attention span and ability to concentrate
- Improves memory and information retention Another way we can help your child is through expertly curated personality development programs. These are developed by a team of psychologists and psychiatrists to bring out the best in your child.
Benefits of Personality Development Programs
- Help them become more self-aware – they get to know who they are – their values, beliefs and the purpose they wish to pursue. This is the first key step in the personal development process
- It gives them a sense of direction and makes them clearer on what they want to achieve, making the decision making process easier
- Personal development also brings mental clarity. Even with an improved sense of direction, there will always be multiple tasks looking for your attention. As you develop personally, task prioritization becomes much easier.
- Increase in motivation - when they know what they want to achieve, it is easier for them to see the benefits of taking action
- It makes them more resilient. There will be tough times ahead but the personal development process gives them the confidence and resilience to deal with difficult life situations
- More fulfilling relationships - They will be able to see which relationships are worth investing time in and they will develop the skill to make the most of these relationships
Ask yourself – are you doing enough for your child? In this ever-changing world, it’s time to become a truly new-age parent – a parent who is proactive, and not reactive.
Take the first step in making your child future-ready and give them the future that they deserve, today.