How can I help my child if they are down or withdrawn?
Have you noticed a change in your child’s behaviour? They may ignore you; appear lazy; refuse to get out of bed; or have trouble concentrating, focusing or remembering things.
Here are some tips on how to deal with such a situation:
- Check in regularly and spend some one-on-one time with your child.
- Help your child develop a sense of hope for the future and develop a family plan.
- Build up a healthy daytime routine with a focus on pleasant activities. When your child is starting to withdraw, it’s helpful to have a visual chart to help orient your child to the day ahead.
- Use a stepped approach to build engagement with online learning. When it comes to online learning, lighten the load, include lots of breaks and mix up online learning activities with other activities that are likely to foster a sense of satisfaction and fulfilment for your child.
- Balance screen use with physical, family and educational activities.
- Encourage your child’s social connections by allowing contact with each friend to help your child, especially young people, process and support each other during these stressful times.
- Encourage family time and some time out of bedrooms.
- Make time for physical activity and encourage your child to engage in 3 minutes of physical activity each day.
- Maintain a healthy eating and sleep schedule.
- Be prepared to hear about your child’s suicidal thoughts. If your child appears depressed, be prepared to ask your child about whether they are experiencing suicidal thoughts. Don’t sweep your child’s symptoms under the rug, and seek advice from your GP.
In the video below, Dr Anna McKinnon from the Centre for Emotional Health at Macquarie University talks to parents and carers about how to help children and teens if they are down or withdrawn.
Watch the video or download the tip sheet.
Content owner: Centre for Emotional Health Last updated: 14 May 2020 2:07pm