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How to know if my child is worried about something: five keys

Motherhood and fatherhood, although they are processes that can be very rewarding and enriching, also entail a very complex task that demands a lot of time and attention from us.

This task is sometimes complicated for us, since there is no absolute parenting manual that tells us how to act in each situation that comes our way.

One of the issues that generates the most anguish for parents is how to know if there is something that worries their children , and in some cases this is very complicated to know, and more so when our son is going through adolescence.

What can help us find out what is worrying our child, in case something happens…? And how to help him if this is the case? We give you some keys to find out and follow it.

Keys to know if my child is worried about something

meet your child

The most important thing, and which may seem very obvious, but which must be remembered and always kept in mind, is that one of the keys to good parenting is knowing our children very well .

This means getting to know your surroundings and your friends. In addition, it is important to know what things our children like (their tastes, interests, hobbies …) and what they do not enjoy so much.

We know this can be a bit difficult for a teenage child, but with a little openness on your part, you’ll surely be able to find out what they like. Don’t be afraid to ask! Open your mind and start active listening, free from judgments. It’s amazing how much we accomplish when we stop judging.

Affective (and effective) communication

Good communication is essential to be able to know what is happening to our children; but this does not mean, at all, to talk endlessly and ask them questions incessantly.

Good communication implies offering them an open channel to be able to talk without being judged or scolded for the things they tell you.

This can be a bit tricky in some cases, but it is important that you always speak to him with love and from the deepest understanding. You will see how the conversation becomes more fluid from there, and how the bond and trust between you are strengthened.

Pay attention to changes

It is not enough just to know our children and their tastes or hobbies. It is also necessary to be very attentive to any change in behavior that it presents, as this may be an indication that something is not going well or that there is something that worries you.

If you notice changes in aspects that you used to enjoy, for example, dig a little deeper into it.

For example, if your child told you about his day and about his friends when he got home from school without you asking him and suddenly stops doing so, try to dig further , ask casually about his friends and pay attention to their answers .

Help him define what he feels

Many times (mainly with young children) it is difficult to define what it feels like, or if there are some thoughts that cause concern, and it is precisely there where our duty as parents is to help them understand what is happening to them; that they can put a name to what happens to them , to the emotion they feel… in order to understand it better.

An easy and simple way to do this is to write several phrases on paper so that your child can say which ones they identify with (and even why); for example: ‘I’m not good at…’, ‘I feel bad about’, etc. Of course, they can also be positive phrases, about things that you are good at, to take advantage of the moment and reinforce your strengths.

remind him that you are there

If you notice that there may be something that is worrying your child, it is important to remind him that you are there for him when he needs you . This is very important to do with all children, and it is essential to remind them when they are teenagers.

But it’s not enough to just say that and leave it at that. It is important that you remind him that you are not there to judge him and that he can talk to you about whatever he wants, even sensitive topics, but that it is very important to be honest and sincere with parents.

And above all, if you don’t know what’s happening to him, it’s very difficult for you to help him.

How do I know if it’s worry or anxiety?

The concern of children and adolescents can be confused with anxiety, and in this sense, we must be attentive to physical signs such as frequent headaches or stomachaches, muscle tension, if they have excessive sweating, if their hands get very cold or if you have tremors, for example.

You should also pay attention to his mood ; if he is very irritable, if he gets upset over small things… or if he cries a lot, does not eat at school, is very distracted or hyperactive in class and at home, etc.

If he tells you that he worries about bad things that may happen or asks a lot of questions related to things like catastrophes, you should pay attention.

“We don’t lose ourselves in parenting. We found parts of ourselves that we never knew existed.”

-L.R. Knost.-

Keep in mind that these are just some of the symptoms of anxiety, but the issue is much more complex. If you have doubts about it, it is best that you go to a mental health professional, talk about what is happening to your child and ask for an evaluation.

The importance of love and a safe place

Finally, remember to always offer a safe place for your child , where they feel confident and comfortable to be able to talk about any topic without feeling judged, pressured or scolded for it. A space free of reproaches.

Always treat him with a lot of love and with the greatest understanding in the world, and when necessary, explain to him the things that you think will benefit him, also those that are not pleasant to listen to.

Empathize with your inner boy or girl, the one from childhood; remember how difficult it was sometimes to be children and much more, to be teenagers.

Photos | Portada (freepik), Imagen 4 (freepik)

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