Is Your Child Depressed?

depressed child

Early on, many of a child’s emotions  are chalked up to physical stages of growth; Tempers are attributed to teething and the “terrible twos,” whining is associated with tiredness or tummy aches, irritability is associated with learning disabilities or adolescent hormonal shifts. While biological phases do have a great impact on a child’s development,  how often are we ignoring the emotional issues that underlie a child’s  pain? How do we separate periodic sadness from chronic depression? Growing pains from heartache?

Staying attuned to our children and what they are going through psychologically can be as important to their development as recognizing the symptoms of colic or the common cold. As children go through life, they are deeply affected by its lessons: learning about loss or death, bullies and hurtful personalities, academic and physical challenges, defeat, and pain caused by the natural shortcomings of their parents or adult influences. The more we recognize what hurts them, the better able we are to respond to them with sensitivity and understanding. By helping our children make sense of their early life experiences, the better they are able to cope in their adult lives.

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