Growing up in today's society is hard for kids: violence on TV, video games and peer pressure. As a parent how do you tell the difference between normal adolescent behavior and a serious problem?
We have created this section to help parents through what is probably a very difficult time for their family. Boys & Girls Town may not be the solution but our hope is that we provide enough information to help parents decide if their child needs professional help, provide additional resources, gain some understanding of how the mental health system works and learn a little more about our programs and services.
It is estimated that one in 10 children in the U. S. have a behavioral or mental health issue severe enough to cause some level of impairment; yet fewer than one in five of these children ever get the help they need. So remember, you are not alone.
Phase or a Problem: Is Your Child in Trouble
Boys & Girls Town of Missouri has created a list of “Warning Signs” that can help you decide if your child needs help. If your child is displaying several of these signs, you probably should take a closer look at what is happening with him or her.
Warning Signs Your Child May Need Help
• Withdrawal from friends and family
• Chronic misbehaviors in school and declining grades
• Chronic misbehaviors at home
• Daily uncontrollable anger
• Impulsive hitting and bullying behaviors
• Stealing, lying, cheating and fire setting
• Exhibiting cruelty to animals
• Inappropriate sexual behavior
Keep in mind that no two situations are alike and there are never any easy answers. There are, however, a number of steps you can take to help you and your child regain control of your lives.
What You Can Do
• Set boundaries at home and at school and enforce them.
• Get involved in school and community activities.
• Ask questions of your child and strive to keep the lines of communication open.
• Know where your kids are at all times.
• Meet their friends and make sure they are positive influences in your child' life.
• Consider individual and/or family therapy.
• Consider a psychiatric evaluation.
• Call a teacher, a school counselor, or Boys & Girls Town for help if a situation gets out of control.
Remember, above all else, the more you love your child and demonstrate that love everyday, the better chance he or she will grow up to lead a happy and healthy life.