Handling Depression on Children


If you see signs of depression in your child, talk to him. Do not shrug off this problem as just one of the things he has to go through while growing up. Try effective ways to treat his depression. Otherwise, it might escalate into bigger and more serious things that may cause him to do dreadful things like committing petty crimes, turning to drugs, or even committing suicide.

How can you help your child battle depression?

Once you have sat down with your child and had that initial chat, encourage him to set up goals for himself. Make sure that these goals are short-term so that he would not be overwhelmed by the weight of his task. Moreover, such goals must be within reach; otherwise, it will merely strengthen his belief that he is an utter failure. Let him be involved in the decision making process by soliciting suggestions for what things he wants to accomplish. Put up goals which are challenging but attainable. This way, when he does finish the task, he will feel like he has succeeded in something useful and has done something productive to himself or to others.

At this stage, your child is still unstable, especially when it comes to his self-confidence and self-worth. Do not forget to pat him on the back and comfort him once in a while. Praise him for his accomplishments; you may even reward him accordingly. However, make sure that you also do not give him false hopes.

Always be there to lend support, especially if there are specific tasks he set his eyes on. For example, if he decides to try out for the track team, jog with him when you have the time, making him feel that he is not alone and that you care for his dreams and desires. You may also stand as coach and time keeper during his sprint exercises.

Never compare him with anyone. The last thing he wants is to know that he is not good enough because somebody out there is better than him. Instead, assure him that is excellent in what he does and if he continues striving for his goals, he can be the best of what he is.

If he fails to achieve a certain goal, do not gloss over the situation. According to child psychologists, you should be able to acknowledge the outcome of the situation and discuss things with him. The importance of this evaluation is to let you know what your child thinks is wrong with him. This way, you will be able to correct his views and assure him of his worth.

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