You always hope your children grow up healthy, happy, and fully socially functional, however it’s important to know that unfortunately that’s not going to happen just in and of itself. While there are some obvious times when a child needs to see a childhood psychologist like after a traumatic experience, but there are other times when growing up where the normal mental, emotional, and social development just doesn’t seem to be taking place the way that you would expect.
While sometimes these concerns can be unfounded and may just be a result of too much helicopter parenting, there are other times when a psychologist may very well be the best answer. The first steps are to ask some very important questions to figure out if there might be some deeper issues behind general misbehavior going on, and if so, can answer the question for you of when do children need psychologists.
The first thing to look at when trying to decide is a psychologist might be the answer is asking what the specific issues are. You can ask questions about if there are very specific repetitive actions that don’t seem to be getting corrected, or do you just find yourself saying something general like “Doesn’t settle down” or “Doesn’t behave,” which can simply indicate kids being kids?
If you are looking at when do children need psychologists, it’s extremely important to figure out what exactly is concerning you. The more details you have, the better, because the more details you have the more complete a picture you are able to paint for the professional.
Ask yourself how often these specific problem behaviors are going on. Are these behaviors normal for the age? Are they only mildly out of line or wildly out of line? There’s a huge difference between slightly slower development and signs of serious trauma or issues that might require additional help, counseling, and guidance to pull through.
The next step is to take an honest look at just how much (or how little) these actions or problem behaviors are affecting the ability to function in day to day life. If they’re not really causing an issue but just appear a mild inconvenience for the parents, adults, or baby-sitter, then there’s a pretty good chance that going the therapy route is actually going overboard.
On the other hand, if the behavior is definitely disruptive, never seems corrected, and does not appear to be a regular part of the child developmental process, then this might be a situation where it is time to get involved in some kid-friendly therapy to see what can be done.
The main times when it’s extremely obvious when do children need psychologists are the horrifying situations that you hope never happen, but unfortunately they inevitably do at some point to someone, somewhere.
Just a brief list of examples like this would be:
– Having parents suddenly die
– Witnessing a violent attack or death
– Being caught in a fire or accident
– Getting mauled by an animal
– Sexual abuse
– Physical abuse
– Mental or emotional abuse
These are all extreme situations and circumstances, and when any of these are in play, or if you even suspect that any of them might be, then it’s time to see a child psychologist immediately. Those are not normal circumstances, and in that case starting treatment as early as possible is the best chance of giving the professional child psychologist a chance to really help out.
Those are the obvious ones, but as stated earlier there are many much less obvious signs that maybe counseling needs to take place. This can always be a challenging thing to figure out since children lashing out because they want extra attention or need help versus children just going through the normal part of learning to grow up and socialize can often look the same.
Outer actions don’t always give the clearest answers to root causes and that’s where so many potential issues begin to stack up. Keep a running journal of when you’re concerned about a small child’s behavior and make sure to be as specific as possible. This might give you clues over time as to if it’s just a normal process, or if a child psychologist might be able to provide the help that you’re looking for.