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As a company committed to helping families raise caring, confident, and resilient children, Slumberkins is grateful to be able to support parents and caregivers with tools and resources to teach early emotional learning. At the same time, it’s important to acknowledge that Slumberkins should be used as a supplement to, not a replacement for, any therapeutic and professional support children receive.
For tips on how to determine whether your child needs additional support, we tapped into the expert guidance of Helen Egger, MD, Co-founder and Chief Medical & Scientific Officer of Little Otter. Little Otter is dedicated to providing families with quality and accessible mental health care. With the numerous stressors many families have experienced in the past few years, it’s more important now than ever to check in with your child’s mental health. Little Otter provides a free, evidence-based assessment and report for children 2-12 with actionable tools to support your family’s wellness. You can find your free toolkit here.
For more ways to support and check in with your child during this season and beyond, Dr. Egger is sharing a list of questions that can help you determine whether your child’s emotions and behaviors may indicate a treatable mental health challenge. Read on for everything you need to know.
One of the biggest challenges parents face is this question: when should I worry about my child’s emotions and behaviors? As children grow, they develop their capacities to manage their feelings and regulate their behaviors. We are not surprised that toddlers and preschoolers have tantrums when they are frustrated and tired. They are beginners in learning to manage big feelings. As children head to kindergarten, we expect tantrums to decrease in their frequency and intensity. If children’s rages continue into elementary school and beyond, we then might be concerned because their behavior does not reflect our developmental expectations at that age.
Children develop at different rates and have different ways of managing emotions or behaving. Some children are shy, others are exuberant. Some children love rough-and-tumble play while other children enjoy quieter, imaginative play. However, it is also important to understand that mental health challenges are common and often begin in early childhood! The rate of mental health challenges like anxiety, depression, ADHD, and behavioral problems in early childhood is similar to the rate in later childhood and adolescence. In fact, 75% of adult mental health disorders start before the age of 14. It is so important to identify when your child is experiencing an impairing mental health challenge because these challenges are highly treatable. Mental health care for your child and for your family can make a world of difference.
So when should a parent worry and consider a mental health check-up for their child?
Here are a few questions that can help provide you with clarity.