Behavioral Health and Your Child
It's estimated that as many as one in five children may struggle with behavioral problems. The issue of behavioral health in kids is a very pressing one that has many health care providers and experts seeking answers.
- A variety of treatments are available for children who are diagnosed with behavioral or mental health issues.
- The next time you bring your child in for a checkup, you should discuss any behavioral concerns you have with your pediatrician.
- The earlier problems are identified and addressed, the better for the child’s long-term well-being. What Is Behavioral Health?
While many parents focus mostly on the physical health of their children, it is also important to address issues of behavioral health. This phrase refers to a child’s mental and emotional health, and how it affects his or her behaviors in school, with peers and in common social settings.
Unfortunately, many children go undiagnosed with behavioral issues well into adulthood. It can affect the way a child develops and the quality of his or her social life, education and future career ambitions.
Common Behavioral Issues in Children
Children who have behavioral health concerns are commonly diagnosed with one or more of the following issues:
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder)
- mood disorders (including bipolar mood swings)
- intense phobias (like being afraid of the dark)
Symptoms of these behavioral issues (including temper tantrums, angry outbursts, lack of concentration and inability to pay attention at important moments) can start as early as the toddler stage.
If a child is diagnosed with a behavioral or mental health problem, solutions are available at your pediatrician’s office. Therapy or counseling is one of the most common treatments for children who have behavioral health concerns. Sometimes the child just needs to be heard and understood by a qualified professional. Cognitive-behavior therapy is a program that also involves the parents and teaches them how to interact with the child successfully. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help the child cope. Getting Help
If you believe that your child may have a behavioral health issue, it's important that you get him or her help as soon as symptoms start to cause you concern. Generally, when they last for more than six months, there’s an issue that may require treatment.