Two-thirds of parents in the U.S. say that they have trouble recognizing depression in their child. These parents may feel like anything their child is feeling now will blow over when they get older. By recognizing the signs of depression in your child, you can do something early to ensure that your child will grow up happy.
What Did the Survey Discover About Parents and Their Child’s Depression?
According to the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan, 40% of 819 parents find it hard to tell normal mood changes from depression signs. 30% said children were good at hiding their feelings. 14% felt like young children do not talk about their feelings, 7% do not spend enough time with their children, and 4% did not know the signs of depression. 42% felt confident and 48% were somewhat confident. While 22% felt confident about their child’s understanding of depression, 28% were not and 12% felt their children would be unlikely to turn to them if they were depressed.
How Do Parents Feel Schools Should Take Part in Preventing Childhood Depression?
In the survey, seven in ten parents felt schools should screen children for depression. 29% said that schools should test all students for depression, 42% said probably yes, 22% said probably not, and 7% said no. Under a quarter of parents said screening should start in 7th or 8th grade while 47% said the 6th grade. One in 10 parents said that their child knows a peer who took their own life and a quarter said their child knows someone with depression. This shows that depression is very common among youth and that even children are aware of the signs among people their own age.
How Can Parents Protect Their Child’s Mental Health?
Trying to stay out of what your child is feeling will not make depression go away. It is important to open up the lines of communication so that your children feel comfortable talking about their emotions or worries. You can also speak about mental health services in a positive way so that your child views counseling as a healthy option. You should also let your child find one adult in their life they can trust whenever they are feeling down or overwhelmed. Looking at the early signs of childhood depression can make a difference in a child’s mood growing up.
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