Parenting is a big challenge, but it can be even tougher when your child is going through a stressful situation. As a parent, you always want your child to be happy and healthy, so when there’s a problem, you want to do whatever you can to help them fix it. Whether it’s a health issue, social problem, or stress caused by a tough situation at home, you can be there to help your child and hold their hand through it all.

Every remedy for the situations on this list starts with an open dialogue, even if your child is suddenly more withdrawn, irritable, or showing signs of aggression. Remain calm and keep trying to talk to them about the situation they’re in. When they are ready to open up and talk about it, always make sure to hear them out and actively listen to them. When you’re expressing your feelings or concerns, try and frame your sentences to start with “you” rather than saying “I” statements, but do your best to avoid saying things that are confrontational or accusatory.

After you’ve talked to your child, you can start to come up with a way to help them through the issue, regardless of what it is. Here are two common stressful or problematic situations that your child might be experiencing and how you can guide them through it.

Struggling with an eating disorder

Children can develop eating disorders because of a number of factors, including psychological, sociocultural or environmental reasons. It’s important to recognize the signs because they might not be as obvious as you may think.

The signs of stress

  • Your child is obsessive about their weight (fear of gaining weight or exercising excessively) or has weight fluctuations
  • Your child has a strong preoccupation with food and watches a lot of cooking shows
  • Your child refuses to eat in front of other people or goes to the bathroom after meals
  • Your child has quick changes in mood or is irritable more often
  • Your child has problems with their teeth, skin and hair

How to help

  • Enroll your child at a treatment center like where a team of doctors, nurses, psychiatrists, dieticians, and therapists are all on-hand to create and guide your child through a treatment plan.
  • Change little habits around the house that can make them feel better, including removing all diet and low-calorie foods from sight, not discussing portion sizes, calories or fat content of the meals you eat, and keep conversations at mealtimes light and positive.

eating disorder

Coping with divorce

A divorce can be hard on your child, especially if they are too young and don’t fully understand what’s happening. You can help them through this difficult situation by being comforting and following these tips.

The signs of stress

A divorce will affect each child differently depending on their age, but the common signs are:

  • Your child has initial feelings of sadness, shock, anger, frustration, and fear
  • Your child experiences mood swings, heightened irritability or aggression, separation anxiety, depression
  • Your child starts performing poorly in school

How to help

  • Do your best to keep all heated discussions and visible conflict away from your child
  • Try and keep your child’s daily routines the same and minimize any changes or disruptions to keep some stability for them
  • Make sure any negativity, blame or ill-feelings aren’t displayed to or in front of your child
  • If the situation is appropriate, try and keep both parents involved in your child’s life without pitting one parent against the other

I hope these few tips will help you as you guide your child through some difficult times.

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