Increasingly younger children admit having horrible thoughts

It used to be thought that children start experiencing greater emotional issues in the teen years, but currently the reality is cardinally different.

„I don’t want to sound like a fear monger, but increasingly younger children are speaking of truly troubling experiences and the feeling that they do not have anyone to share those experiences with. Thoughts of suicide used to be a thing only among older adults. But now we hear this from nine-year olds, ten-year olds. They say that life is so difficult that they do not know what to do and sometimes wish to just disappear,“ she noted.

Since such horrible thoughts begin tormenting children as soon as they start school, it is worth paying attention to their emotional health, be attentive and caring, and not ignore various issues.

Increasingly younger people are suffering from emotional problems

The number of lonely children is growing

The Child Line psychologist has noticed that this issue is exacerbated by the increasing level of loneliness among children. They share all kinds of emotions: fear, anxiety, hopelessness, and frustration.

„When there is a specific issue, for example, I cannot find a key, someone helps me find it, and I feel a relief. But if many things add-up: difficulties at school, no support from adults, no friends, loneliness – all these hard feelings are accumulating inside, and it is very difficult to understand that to do with them, how to carry on,“ Jasiulione noted.

The psychologist stressed that parents often do not encourage their children to open up about their feelings, how was their day, how they feel inside. Sometime a single heartfelt conversation may be enough to make the child feel better.

Oftentimes, the hardships of children are related to their families. People say that children growing in antisocial families are more inclined towards emotional health issues, but it does not matter whether the parents are divorced, alcoholics, or an exemplary family, nobody is immune from such problems.

Increasingly younger people are suffering from emotional problems

Why these negative thoughts are tormenting increasingly younger children?

Family members may find it difficult to comprehend why young children suddenly become sad and depressed. The reasons are aplenty.

„For instance, inter-relations can be tricky. Sometimes the challenges are so subtle – the child feels underappreciated, degraded, or is trying really hard, the grades are great, but the child still feels inadequate,“ the psychologist said.

Quite often, when a child gets a 9 at school, the parents ask: why not a 10? This becomes an insufferable torment, because the child starts striving for perfection without realizing if that is what he really wants or because the parents told him to do so.

„Sometimes, children who look perfectly fine on the outside, are active, and study well, may be experiencing stress on the inside. They know that if they relax only just a little bit, and their performance suffers, they will be criticized and scolded,“ Jasiulione said.

Child Line psychologist Jurgita Smiltė Jasiulionė

Another mistake that parents make is paying attention only to the things that the child does wrong.

Quite often children misbehave intentionally in order to be noticed and get attention from their parents because exemplary behavior is always treated as „normal“.

How to start a conversation with your child?

In order to know how your child really feels, it is very important to start talking to him/her about it. The psychologist has shared practical advice on how to do this successfully.

„Don’t expect your child to open up after your first question, make sure you spend enough time with him/her, and ask not only about grades, but also about the child’s day at school, relations with classmates. These questions will also reveal certain topics,“ she said.

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