AMARILLO, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — Mental health issues were already top of mind for decades, and the pandemic just made those issues worse.
Experts have found an increase in diagnoses of ADHD, Depression, and an increase in suicide rates among 10-14 year olds.
Some symptoms can be a coping mechanism and not needing an official diagnosis.
Issues that can play in to kids exhibiting problematic/ unhealthy behavior:
o Emotionally unavailable parents.
§ Digitally distracted.
o Lack of clear defined limits with guidance.
§ Indulgent parenting/ sense of entitlement rather than responsibility.
o Poor balanced nutrition/ adequate sleep.
o Lack of movement and playing outdoors.
§ Sedentary/ plugged in all the time
o Decreased creative play/social interaction/opportunities for unstructured time.
§ Endless stimulation and instant gratification.
Ways to help kids grow up healthy and happy:
o Set limits… you are the parent not the friend. Give what needs vs what wants. Do not be afraid to say no.
§ Provide nutritious meals/snacks.. eat together at the table whenever you can. This should be a technology free zone.
§ Spend an hour a day in a outside
§ Give kids chores/responsibilities which are age appropriate.
§ Have consistent routines…. Bedtime, waking up, .. bedroom should be technology free as well when time to wind down.
o Teach responsibility and independence.
§ Let them learn the skills they will need to be independent rather than doing things for them.
o Teach delayed gratification and provide opportunities for leisure… boredom is when creativity can awaken.
o Being emotionally available for our kids and teaching self-regulation.
§ Recognizing and dealing with emotions.
§ Connecting emotionally with others.. empathy/ how to converse/ appropriate greetings/ etc.