Here are the top 5 questions parents ask our Therapists

How do I know if my child is experiencing typical childhood fears and kids’ anxiety or if something more is going on?

All children experience some fear and anxiety. Not only is this normal, but it is protective. One of the easiest ways to determine if fear or anxiety has become too big is to see if it impacts the child’s functioning in any way. Does it stop them from participating in certain activities? Does it distract them in a way that affects their ability to learn in class or connect with others during social activities? Does it prevent them from being independent (e.g., going into a room alone to dress)? Consultation with a therapist can help identify whether support is needed.

How to promote child mental health during the pandemic?

Children and families have been thrown into a new world with minimal extracurricular activities, limited social interactions, increased safety protocols, and unpredictable shifts to online learning. As a result, it has been challenging for many families to remain patient and attentive with our children. One of the first steps to bring calm to the storm (for both children and parents) is to establish a routine that includes meal and snack breaks, outdoor play, quiet time, self-care, and safe socializing. Routines allow children to develop a sense of security and mastery over their environment and regain predictability and hope.

Why does a kid need a child therapist?

Children and their families may need support for a wide range of concerns impacting child mental health and life at home or school. These concerns could be minor – impacting one small area of their lives and needing only a few sessions with a therapist. Others may have concerns that are significantly impacting their lives and require much longer on-going work. Our most frequent referrals center on anxiety, difficulty regulating emotions, sadness and depression, learning difficulties, and communication between family members. A therapist may work directly with the child, the parents, or the whole family based on the family’s needs and preferences.

Do therapists prescribe medication?

No, therapists do not prescribe medication. However, after a thorough assessment and sometimes a therapy course, a therapist may recommend that you discuss medications with your pediatrician or psychiatrist. A therapist can work in conjunction with the physician to ensure comprehensive care.

Why validate kids’ emotions? The Importance of processing a child’s feelings.

As parents, our goal is to help our children learn how to process their feelings to learn how to have feelings and not be had by them. We attend to emotions because they are first, fast, and are a guidance system that tells us how to respond. When parents validate their children’s emotions, they can experience and move through them. Children learn that when they have a painful emotion or experience, they can come to you. Emotional challenges are a part of life to eventually regulate/validate themselves (instead of other unhealthy ways of coping) and develop fundamental problem-solving skills.

To Health! 

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If you have a medical emergency, call a physician or qualified healthcare provider, or CALL 911 immediately. Under no circumstances should you attempt self-treatment based on anything you have seen or read on this Website. Always seek the advice of your physician or other licensed and qualified health provider in your jurisdiction concerning any questions you may have regarding any information obtained from this Website and any medical condition you believe may be relevant to you or to someone else. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.

About Dr. Dina Kulik MD, FRCPC, PEM

Dr. Dina Kulik completed her Pediatrics Residency and Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children. Dr. Dina is one of Canada’s leading child health media experts, providing child health information through television, radio, print media, and via her blog Above all, Dina’s greatest joy is her family, and being the mom of four crazy boys.

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