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It’s Time to Stop Ignoring Behavioral and Emotional Problems in Children - Chassidy Anderson

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

When I was a child, I had a hard time focusing in school, understanding lessons in class and struggled with my grades, which lead to many issues later in life. It's very important for adults to pay attention to what can cause emotional and behavioral problems in children. My parents were not always able to provide the time and support that I needed. They were also separated, which caused further issues. In my case, family was able to provide backup support that was needed. Having my grandparents and aunt made it a lot easier to not feel so alone. But unfortunately, that’s not the case for everyone. I'm writing this in hopes of making a difference in your life or help make a difference in a child who is in need of support.

Millions of children in the United States suffer from emotional and/or behavioral problems, and many could benefit from professional treatment. That being said, most of them are unlikely to receive it. Discuss social and emotional problems that tend to develop in middle childhood. I’d like to discuss the factors contribute to children's inability to receive the professional treatment they need and the societal changes that need to occur to address these social and emotional problems.

Several of the emotional and behavioral problems that develop in middle childhood include low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety and conduct disorder. There are many factors that cause these emotional and behavioral problems. Parent-child relationships and peer relationships can contribute to these disorders. Depression, anxiety and conduct disorders may also be influenced by genetics. Children with authoritative parents, or parents who neglect them are vulnerable to low self-esteem. Divorce can also be a factor in emotional and behavioral problems since it can disrupt the family and their future. Also, it can tie into money problems and can result in children being neglected by the parent that has left. Peer relationships and popularity versus rejection can also affect children’s behavioral and emotional development, resulting in low self-esteem and depression.

Some of the factors that hinder professional treatment could be parents who are too busy or stressed themselves to be the strong role models their children need. Time is also a factor, since spending quality time with the family can have a huge positive impact on children. Unfortunately, with money pressures and both parents working, the children often do not get the support they need. A lot of children need help from therapy and counseling, but many go without the professional help they need. A lot of parents don’t want to acknowledge these types of mental illnesses. Time and money are also contributing factors that make it hard for parents to seek professional help for their children. Some parents may not even realize that their children are having a hard time.

For parents, making family time, listening to their children and educating themselves on the types of mental issues that develop in the middle childhood could help them be more aware and encourage them to seek professional help when it’s needed. Parents need to be more supportive and understanding.

Schools also have a role to play since children are with them for so much of the day. Teachers need to communicate openly with parents and express their concerns. If parents are unable or unwilling to take the steps needed to get a child the help he or she needs, guidance counselors can also play an important role in educating parents and making recommendations. Our health care systems should also be set up to make mental health treatment available and affordable for all families that need the professional help. As a society, we need to remove the stigmas related to mental health treatments.

I believe if more parents learn about emotional and behavioral problems, it could solve a lot of these issues. Closer relationships between parents and children should be encouraged. When parents have their own issues due to lack of time, education, poverty or other factors, then the community should have back-up organizations that give children the chance to build self-esteem and feel a sense of belonging. Organizations, like The Boys and Girls Clubs, can provide some of these services and can also help identify children who need professional therapy.

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