As parents we feel a great need to make our children happy. When we see our children happy we automatically feel happy ourselves and when our children feel pain we somehow naturally feel their pain too. All children experience life differently, this might be how they are being brought up, how their school life experiences play out etc. Some children gracefully adapt to change, whether it is good or bad and others battle. It is not their or your fault, our makeup is just so unique! As a parent I am sure you would like to help your child if they are battling in a certain area in the wonderful book called Life?
We discuss some common emotional health issues in children, as well as natural ways that you can help. There are many ways that you can help children with anxiety, shyness, mood and behaviour problems, as well as those who struggle with concentration and sitting still in class. However, remember that if things do not improve and your child is clearly struggling, always consult a health professional for diagnosis and help.
Some common emotional health issues in children
- Anxiety – As much as we want to keep our children in a little cotton ball, some children are more anxious than others. In addition, while some children may adapt easily to change and new situations (like starting school), others find these events very stressful.
- Concentration and hyperactivity. ADHD is a psychiatric condition that tends to be over-diagnosed and over-medicated. It can only be correctly diagnosed by a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Children who struggle to concentrate and sit still in class do not necessarily have ADHD and their difficulties may be due to a variety of causes. Psychiatric medication for ADHD should only be given if other measures have failed and the problem affects the child’s progress in school (some tips below)
- Eating problems – All children go through phases where they may be picky about their food and this is usually short lived and quite normal. However, emotional and behavioural problems may also affect eating patterns, resulting in children and teens refusing to eat or eating too much. Whether it is anorexia or bulimia, these children (usually teenagers) become so obsessed with the ability to control food that they focus very little on anything else.
- Mood –We all go through ups and downs and children are no different. However, sometimes children may also become depressed or excessively moody, irritable or withdrawn. While this may be a passing reaction to stress, it could also be serious, so be sure that you have your child professionally assessed if it does not resolve – especially if your child speaks of suicide or wanting to die.
How you can naturally help
There are many things that you can do to help your child become a well-adjusted individual who is able to overcome life’s stresses and strains. Here are a few Feelgood Health tips from our Clinical Psychologist:
- Remember that all children are different. For example, some children are outgoing and friendly, while others are shy and take a little longer to warm up. Some are natural ‘worriers’ and want answers to everything, while others easily accept situations without becoming worried. Don’t try to force your child to be something that he/she is not. Rather try to assist them to accept themself and work on skills that can be devloped to deal with things in ways that suit them.
- Keep communication channels open and spend time with your child so that you can keep in touch with how he/she is feeling and what is happening in their world. This way, they will be more likely to share their feelings with you when things are becoming difficult.
- Help your child to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Research suggests that mood and emotional health can be affected by lifestyle factors like regular exercise, healthy diet and healthy sleep patterns. Make sure that ‘screen time’ (mobile phones, TV, computer games) is kept to a reasonable level and make a rule that phones are not in the bedroom at night.
- Avoid physical punishment and learn how to positively discipline your child and reward good behaviour. Never belittle or label your child in a negative fashion, but rather focus on desired behaviour, reward and encouragement.
Natural remedies to assist with emotional health and balance
- K-OK KiddieCalmer, is a safe natural homeopathic remedy that helps shy & nervous children and those with separation anxiety.
- Dudu Drops is a natural homeopathic remedy to help promote natural, calm and peaceful sleep in toddlers and children over 1 year old (Use Sleepy Sprinkles for younger babies).
- AllisOne Rescue Synergy Tissue Salts are also great for supporting emotional stability in children (and adults).
- BrightSpark is a safe non-addictive natural alternative remedy to help reduce hyperactivity and address problem behaviour at home and in the classroom.
- Focus Formula is recommended as a brain tonic to help with concentration, focus and memory. It also helps to calm overactive children and is recommended together with BrightSpark as a complete natural solution for children with hyperactivity and concentration issues. Save 10% on our Combo Pack.
- Tissue salts like AllisOne Kali Phos are also great for improving concentration and general nervous system health.
- MindSoothe Jr is a natural herbal mood tonic for children. Because children with emotional problems often tend to act out, MindSoothe Jr will not only help withdrawn and depressed children, but will also assist those that struggle with anger, mood swings and oppositional behaviour.
- Healthy and balanced nutrition is also vital for mental health. We recommend a good, all-round multivitamin and mineral tonic like preservative free Kangavites (for under 12’s) and Solgar Formula VM-2000 for teens and adults.