Oftentimes, as parents, we get so caught up in making sure all the pertinent, societally determined boxes get ticked off that we forget to, regularly, take our child's emotional temperature. Then we notice that behaviors seem to have cropped up out of nowhere. But then we step back and realize they have been festering for a while.
We all understand that science has proven over and over that positive emotion is the best place to begin any new experience. And conversely, negative emotion shuts it down. Yet, we get busy and overwhelmed by daily life and forget that immersing ourselves in positive situations and environments allows our brains to generate compounds that stimulate the desire to explore, engage, be creative - and learn!
All of this is not to say that we have to stifle those negative feelings in ourselves or our children when they pop up. I am referring to lengthy submersion in the chemical cocktails surrounding depression, sadness, anxiety, and fear. Or even long-term frustration and resentment.
Many kids don't express their unhappiness with words; they may:
In my direct experience, there is a rapid and intense change in demeanor when parents discover that their child's particular issue is directly related to something at school, and they seek out my help. Often by merely changing the conditions, along with the people who support and nurture them every day, they become happier and less stressed.
However, if these behaviors are ongoing, and your child is not forthcoming when you try to engage them in a casual and non-intimidating manner, it may be time to talk to a professional who can determine if you need to address particular issues.
The DRC Exploration Station Summer Program has a few spots left for these last two weeks. Register here.