The ‘Tween’ Years are a time when your child experiences many changes. One of the things you may begin to notice is mood swings. One minute your child may be happy and laughing and the next he or she is sad and sullen. Should you be concerned by their gloomy behavior?
A certain amount of moodiness is entirely normal. But true childhood depression may be a serious matter. How can you tell when your child is depressed?
The following is a checklist of things to look for:
Has your child lost interest in playing or in their favourite possession?
Has your child regressed to an earlier stage of development?
Has your child stopped wanting to participate in family activities?
Has your child’s grades dropped?
Is your child genuinely sad?
Is your child’s behaviour violent or rebellious?
Have you noticed frequent mood swings?
Have your child’s eating or sleeping habits changed?
Does your child have difficulty staying on task?
Has your child’s personality changed drastically?
Has your child shown signs of persistent boredom?
Have you noticed poor hygiene or a sloppy appearance?
If you spot these changes in your child, try talking to them about it without sounding like you are questioning them. Sometimes they too might not know what is going on with them so if they don’t feel comfortable talking to you maybe you could ask someone they are close to, someone they seem to be very fond of or are not afraid of. It could be an aunt, uncle, grandparent, neighbour, close family friend or even local grocery store owner! Also, try seeing your pediatrician for advice. Trained counselors can also help with the situation.