Parents are usually the first to recognize when a child has an emotional or behavioral problem. Even so, the decision to seek professional help or advice can be difficult and painful, as it often becomes difficult to know at what point this is really necessary. One resists perhaps because one feels that they are not going to say anything new, or that in case of doing so will be to question the ability, as a parent or adult, to solve a certain problem. However, asking for help, not only as a parent, but also from any role or situation that life poses to us, is an attitude of the most mature and conscious, own of someone who uses his decision and the means that are available to face certain problems. Many times we do not know if it is enough or not what is happening to us or our children, as to consult a specialist. That point or limit is something totally individual and subjective, which is marked differently by each person.
However, there are general objective situations, which indicate the need to do so:
• Feel that things surpass you as a parent.
• Your child is moody and does not follow the guidelines you tell him or her.
• The conjugal relationship has become poor and there is no good mood.
• You have lived or are experiencing a major crisis in the family: loss of work, move, school change, death of a
relative or someone close to you, serious illness, separation from your partner, etc.
• Your child has problems at school.
• Your child has bad relationships with peers.
• You punish your children physically and / or emotionally.
• Your child punishes you physically or emotionally.
• Your child is too active and restless.
• Your child is depressed, has lost interest in life or has attempted suicide.
• You are very concerned about aspects of adoption.
• Your child is too worried about the subject of adoption and you do not feel able to soathe him or her.
• The behavior, personality and friends of the child have changed drastically. Perhaps there is a problem of alcoholism or drugs.
• You do not feel able or able to face a problem.
Here are some specific signs that an evaluation by a psychologist of children and adolescents can be of great help:
1.- Major changes in academic performance.
2.- Bad grades at school, despite making a remarkable effort.
3. Too much worry or excessive anxiety, which can be manifested in their refusal to attend school, go to bed or participate in those normal activities for a child of his/her age.
4.- Hyperactivity, restlessness, constant movement, beyond regular play.
5.- Persistent nightmares.
6.- Persistent disobedience or aggression (more than 6 months) and provocative behavior toward authority figures.
7. Frequent and inexplicable tantrums.
Preteens and adolescents:
1.- Changes marked in the learning in the school.
2.- Difficulty to face problems, situations or daily activities.
3.- Significant changes in sleeping or eating areas.
4.- Many physical complaints.
5.- Sexual representations.
6. Depressive state manifested by a persistently negative mood and attitude, often accompanied by poor appetite, difficulty sleeping and ideas related to death.
7.- Drug or alcohol abuse.
8.- Intense fear of becoming obese without taking into account its true weight to the present, purging of food or restricting eating.
9. Persistent nightmares.
10. Threats to harm himself/herself or others.
11.- Injury or self-destructive behavior.
12.- Frequent starts of anger and aggression.
13. Threats to leave the home.
14.- Persistent violation of the rights of others in an aggressive or non-aggressive way, challenge to authority, absence to school, theft or vandalism.
15.- Strange thoughts and feelings. Unusual behavior.