CHILDHOOD CONCERNS

 

BED-WETTING

Soggy sheets and pajamas — and an embarrassed child — are a familiar scene in many homes. But don't despair. Bed-wetting isn't a sign of toilet training gone bad.

 

Bed-wetting is involuntary urination while asleep after the age at which staying dry at night can be reasonably expected.

 

Most kids are fully toilet trained by age 5, but there's really no target date for developing complete bladder control. Between the ages of 5 and 7, bed-wetting remains a problem for some children. After 7 years of age, a small number of children still wet the bed.

 

Most children outgrow bed-wetting on their own — but some need a little help. In other cases, bed-wetting may be a sign of an underlying condition that needs medical attention.

 

Although frustrating, bed-wetting without a physical cause doesn't pose any health risks. However, bed-wetting can create some issues for your child, including:

 

Guilt and embarrassment, which can lead to low self-esteem

Loss of opportunities for social activities, such as sleepovers and camp

Rashes on the child's bottom and genital area — especially if your child sleeps in wet underwear

 

TANTRUMS

Tantrums are one of the most common forms of problematic behaviour in young children, but tend to decrease in frequency and intensity as the child grows older. For the toddler, tantrums can be considered as normal, even as gauges of a developing strength of character.[5]

While tantrums are sometimes seen as a predictor of future anti-social behaviour,[6] in another sense they are simply an age-appropriate sign of excessive frustration, and will diminish over time given a calm and consistent handling.[7] Parental containment where a child cannot contain itself - rather than what the child is ostensibly demanding - may be what is really required.[8]

 

Talk to your doctor if:

  • You often feel angry or out of control when you respond to tantrums.
  • You keep giving in.
  • The tantrums cause a lot of bad feelings between you and your child.
  • You have questions about what you're doing or what your child is doing.
  • The tantrums become more frequent, intense, or last longer.
  • Your child often hurts himself/herself or others.
  • Your child seems very disagreeable, argues a lot, and hardly ever cooperates.

 

POOR FOOD HABITS

Most people have heard of emotional overeating, but what about the opposite? Emotional under-eating, or eating less in response to stress or negative emotions, also occurs and may be relevant to the development of later eating disorders. Children that are picky eaters and continue to do so year after year may be suffering from emotional distress.

 

Some eating problems are behavioral in nature. Parents of young children often are concerned that their children are not eating enough or eating too much, eating the wrong foods, refusing to eat certain foods, or engaging in inappropriate mealtime behavior (such as sneaking food to a pet or throwing or intentionally dropping food). Most eating problems do not last long enough to interfere with a child's growth and development.

Eating problem may develop if a parent or caregiver tries to coerce the child to eat or shows too much concern about the child's appetite or eating habits. The extra attention children with an eating problem receive when parents coax and threaten may inadvertently reward and thus reinforce the child's tendency to refuse eating. Some children may even respond to parental attempts at force-feeding by vomiting.

 

HYPERACTIVITY, ATTENTION DEFICIT

Some Kids  have problems paying attention and sitting still in their seats, and they can be impulsive, which means doing things without thinking about the results. This can cause problems like getting hurt. These kids can have difficulty in school. Some might have trouble making friends.

 

Most kids have problems concentrating and paying attention. Some also might have trouble sitting still in class and waiting for their turn. They might yell out the answers before other kids have a chance to raise their hands.

 

Sometimes they can be disorganized, distracted, or forgetful. They tend to daydream in class. They might lose things and have trouble finishing assignments. They may wiggle around in their seats, move around a lot, talk too much, or interrupt other people's conversations.

It's important to remember that everybody does these things once in a while. If you do them sometimes, it doesn't mean you are hyperactive. But kids with hyperactivity have these problems most or all of the time. This can cause them to have problems both at home and at school.

 

Kids with hyperactivity can also become worried, frustrated, angry, and sad. Kids need to know that hyperactivity can be treated.

 

 

SHYNESS

My child is shy and does not make friends easily. Should I be worried?

Although childhood shyness is commonplace, it concerns many parents, especially those who place great value on sociability. Some children become shy because of harsh life experiences, but most are born that way. For some middle-years children, social situations and interactions can be terrifying. When they come in contact with new children, they rarely feel at ease.

 

Typically, they are unwilling or unable to make the first move, preferring to abandon a potential friendship rather than reach out to the unfamiliar. A few of these timid children may be emotionally distressed, but they are in the minority. In fact, some children are just naturally withdrawn and slow to warm up in new situations.

Severe shyness

 

In some cases, shyness can be disabling. Extremely shy children often do not adapt as well as most of their peers in the classroom and on the playground. The longer this pattern exists, the more difficult it is for children to change. Shyness can increasingly lead to purposeful avoidance of social settings and withdrawal, and ultimately create an inability to function effectively as a social adult. If your child's shyness becomes debilitating, it may be caused by an anxiety disorder or a temperament pattern; then an evaluation by a child mental-health professional would be helpful.

Rejected children

 

Most children want to be liked, yet some are slow in learning how to make friends. Others may long for companionship but might be excluded from one group or another, perhaps picked on because of the way they dress, poor personal hygiene, obesity, or even a speech impediment. Youngsters are often rejected by peers if they exhibit disruptive or aggressive behavior. Still other children may hover on the fringes of one clique or another but never really get noticed. These neglected children spend most of their time alone.

 

Rejected youngsters are overtly disliked by their peers and are constantly made to feel unwelcome. They often tend to be aggressive or disruptive and very sensitive to teasing. They may be bullies and rule-violators, or they may be so unsure of themselves that they invite the rejection of others. They might also be rejected because of their impulsive and disruptive behavior. Some of them may have attention deficits or hyperactivity.

Neglected children

 

Neglected children, on the other hand, are not overtly rejected and teased but are often just ignored, forgotten, not invited to parties, and are the last ones picked for a team. These youngsters may be perceived as loners but might be passive and detest their isolation. Others may actually prefer to be alone. This latter group might be respected and admired by others but simply feel more comfortable in solitary pursuits or in spending time with parents, siblings other adults, or even pets. They may also lack the social skills and self-confidence necessary for them to enter social arenas, often because of limited social experiences. Or they may be more shy, quiet and reserved than most of their peers.

 

POOR GRADES

It's one of the most common frustrations for parents: children who are capable, perhaps even gifted, students, yet do not perform up to their abilities. These children suffer from Underachievement Syndrome. Unless the syndrome is corrected, it can make not just school, but life, miserable for them.

 

When your child brings home that report card showing grades that are less than great, sometimes it's difficult to know what to do. Do you act like it doesn't matter, have a long discussion with your child about the importance of grades, or automatically punish them for having bad grades? While all of these may seem to be tempting options, it's important that you actually work with your child to help them start improving their grades. Bad grades can be a result of a variety of problems.

 

Your child may have trouble paying attention, they may be a bit lazy and may not be doing their work, or they may be having trouble grasping the concepts that they are learning in school.

 

OBESITY

Obesity is undoubtedly one of the biggest medical problems of the 21st century. Regrettably, the problem affects more and more children and adolescents.

 

An excess body weight can be the consequence of genetic factors, endocrine disorders or certain drugs. However, "simple obesity" is the most common, consequence of providing too much energy from food products in comparison to energy expenditure (caloric excess). Today's lifestyle promotes the development of obesity. The lack of physical activity, sedentary lifestyle and energy-rich diet are the main causes of an excess body fat accumulation.

Because of improper eating behaviours children consume an excess amount of energy; and their diet is deficient in elements necessary for proper development. The examples of such bad eating habits are: snacking highly processed and calorie-rich foods between meals eating in front of the TV screen, skipping breakfasts, drinking sugar-sweetened beverages, "eating out" frequently and "emotional eating". Bad eating behaviours are crucial factors for the development of obesity. Eating habits are usually formed in early childhood and parents play a very important role in their development.

 

 

FEARS

Everyone, from the youngest child to the oldest adult, experiences anxieties and fears at one time or another. Feeling anxious in a particularly uncomfortable situation never feels very good. However, with kids, such feelings are not only normal, they're also necessary. Dealing with anxieties can prepare young people to handle the unsettling experiences and challenging situations of life.

 

Typical childhood fears change with age. They include fear of strangers, heights, darkness, animals, blood, insects, and being left alone. Kids often learn to fear a specific object or situation after having an unpleasant experience, such as a dog bite or an accident.

Separation anxiety is common when young children are starting school, whereas adolescents may experience anxiety related to social acceptance and academic achievement.

 

If anxious feelings persist, they can take a toll on a child's sense of well-being. The anxiety associated with social avoidance can have long-term effects. For example, a child with fear of being rejected can fail to learn important social skills, causing social isolation.

Many adults are tormented by fears that stem from childhood experiences. An adult's fear of public speaking may be the result of embarrassment in front of peers many years before. It's important for parents to recognize and identify the signs and symptoms of kids' anxieties so that fears don't get in the way of everyday life.

 

Some signs that a child may be anxious about something may include:

  • becoming clingy, impulsive, or distracted
  • nervous movements, such as temporary twitches
  • problems getting to sleep and/or staying asleep longer than usual
  • sweaty hands
  • accelerated heart rate and breathing
  • nausea
  • headache
  • stomach-ache

 

Apart from these signs, parents can usually tell when their child is feeling excessively uneasy about something. Lending a sympathetic ear is always helpful, and sometimes just talking about the fear can help a child move beyond it.

 

What's a Phobia?

When anxieties and fears persist, problems can arise. As much as a parent hopes the child will grow out of it, sometimes the opposite occurs, and the cause of the anxiety looms larger and becomes more prevalent. The anxiety becomes a phobia, or a fear that's extreme, severe, and persistent.

 

A phobia can be very difficult to tolerate, both for kids and those around them, especially if the anxiety-producing stimulus (whatever is causing the anxiety) is hard to avoid (e.g., thunderstorms).

 

 

 

CHILDREN YOUTH AND DEPRESSION

While we may think of low mood or other challenges as adult problems, they can affect people at any age. Children and teens can experience mental illnesses like depression. Sometimes it can be difficult for adults to understand how difficult children’s problems can be because we look at their problems through adult eyes. But the pressures of growing up can be very hard for some children. It’s important that we remind ourselves that while their problems may seem unimportant to us, they can feel overwhelming to young people. It’s important to take depression in young people seriously.

 

 

 

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