How Do I Know If My Child Needs Counseling

It’s common for children and teens to have ups and downs, but as a parent it can be concerning to see certain changes in your child’s behavior or reactions. There could be a number of causes for these. Perhaps they’ve experienced recent trauma or feel under stress from school or social pressure. Whereas some struggles are to be expected, it’s important to recognize the signs it may be time for child counselors to intervene. According to, children can benefit from professional help in the same way that adults can, and any issues can be handled with care and sensitivity. Always seek the advice of child counselors before taking your child to therapy. They will be able to give you peace of mind along with useful professional insights. Here are a few indicators that your child may need counseling.

Changes in everyday habits

Monitor your child’s everyday habits and look out for more dramatic changes. These may include a loss of appetite or difficulty sleeping. Whereas children’s habits may become different as they get older, it’s still important for them to maintain a healthy diet and sleep pattern. If your child seems to have changed their attitude towards food, try to speak to them and get to the root of the problem. If they’re having trouble sleeping or experiencing fatigue this could be due to stress or academic pressure. Speak to child counselors if you are concerned there could be a more complex underlying issue.

Lower self-esteem

Perhaps your child has started making comments that suggest they aren’t feeling as confident as they once did, either at school or socially. This is a common struggle and can develop particularly in teens. They may also be saying things to suggest they, or other people don’t believe they matter. Again, it’s normal in an argument for them to say things like “I wish I hadn’t been born” or “no one cares about me”, but if this becomes a frequent occurrence it might be time to get to the heart of the matter with a child counselor.

Self-destructive behaviors

Sometimes children adopt self-destructive behaviors as a coping mechanism, but if these become repetitive then it could be a growing concern. Typical actions include pulling their hair, or picking their skins or nails. In more severe cases, they may also mention or even engage in intentional self-harm. It’s best to speak to a child counselor for advice about what to do in these situations. If your child has talked about suicide or has an unsettling interest in death it may also be time for child counselors to intervene. Seek professional help on how to deal with these cases in the most delicate way possible.

Social withdrawal

Another sign children are perhaps feeling depressed or anxious is social withdrawal. If you notice they’re having issues with family relationships or friendships, try to get to the heart of the matter. They also may be less interested in socializing all together. Many children go through phases like this but it’s important to note any major changes in personality. Seek the advice of child counselors if you’re concerned. They may be an underlying reason for this lack of interest in social interaction.

Lack of interest in leisure activities

As well as a lack of social engagement, children may also stop wanting to take part in leisure activities. This could be due to a number of reasons. Perhaps their interests have simply changed and in which case try to get them to take up a new hobby. If they continue to be reluctant, ask them why they don’t want to do extra curricular activities. There could have been an incident relating to bullying, for example. If this is the case, child counselors will be able to help them through it.

Changes in academic performance

Changes in academic performance are common, but not ideal. If your child’s school work has shown a significant decline, it’s probably best to get them extra help. You could try speaking to your child’s teachers to see if they can offer any professional insights or suggestions. Find out if anything else has been going on at school that could have affected their grades, or interest in studying.

Increase in negative behavior

If your child is displaying a significant increase in negative behavior, this could be a clear indicator that they’re not happy in a particular aspect of their life. This kind of behavior is to be expected if they’ve recently been through a trauma or stressful situation, but if it’s prolonged it could affect them in various ways in the future. Get in touch with professional child counselors to discuss techniques in dealing with negative behavior. If these don’t take effect, taking your child to see a counselor could help.

Recent trauma

Your child may need counseling if they’ve experienced a recent trauma. It’s often beneficial to speak to someone outside of the family who will understand what they’re going through. If there’s been a death in the family, for example, child counselors can help them work through grief. They may also use a variety of techniques and exercises specifically relating to child counseling which can be very useful.

Excessive worry about the future

If you’ve heard your child express excessive worry about the future, they may also benefit from counseling. In these unprecedented times, both adults and children alike have been feeling more concerned about the future. Not to mention, everyone has experienced dramatic changes to their routine and lifestyle. A professional child counselor will be able to aid them in managing this kind of anticipatory anxiety.

How child counselors can help

Seeking help from child counselors can be beneficial for all the family. Dealing with a child’s emotional or behavioral struggles can cause a strain on family life. Experienced and compassionate child counselors will help you and your child navigate through any issues with professionalism and sensitivity. If you would like to learn more about how professional child counselors can help, contact your local counseling professional.