What to look for

We all experience difficulties from time to time, and kids are no different. But some children seem to encounter problems or feel the effects more so than others.

Families are often in the best position to spot issues with a child’s emotions, thinking or behaviour. If a child close to you is having problems that stick around for more than a few weeks and interfere with school, home, friendships or daily life, it’s time to get some professional advice.

The first step is taking time to observe what’s going on.

Signs of concern

If you’ve noticed some of the following changes in your child’s emotions and behaviour, talk things through with your GP or other health professional.

  • Frequent, unexplained temper tantrums
  • Unusual fears
  • Difficulty going to sleep or staying asleep
  • Sadness and feelings of hopelessness that don’t go away
  • Avoiding friends or family and wanting to be alone most of the time
  • Refusing to go to preschool or school on a regular basis
  • Inability to get along with other children
  • Hyperactive behaviour or constant movement beyond regular playing
  • Noticeable disinterest or decline in school performance
  • Frequent aggressive reactions (more than is reasonably expected in the situation)
  • Difficulties with concentration, attention and organisation
  • Any other changes from their usual way of acting over a short period of time


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