Shaping your child’s behavior can be a tough job, especially if they refuse to tell you what the problem is. You enter the living room from work, exhausted and wishing nothing but to relax only to find your kid frowning and clearly troubled. 

According to an Australian Child Wellbeing Project’s study, families rank as the most important determinant of the quality of a child’s life. This is why it’s important to have proper communication with your child. What some parents don’t understand is that communication is not just one-way. It’s about the parent sharing their thoughts and insight to their child and the child sharing their own thoughts and insight back to their parents. 

Signs your children are troubled

Anyone can have bad days, even kids. If left unchecked, kids will continue to feel down as they go through school and as they get older as adults. 

Here are signs you need to watch out for that show your kid is feeling troubled:

  • Tantrums or defiant behavior
  • Constantly sad or cries a lot
  • Always anxious
  • Separation anxiety
  • Social awkwardness
  • Behaves in ways that he’s outgrown (sucking thumb or wetting the bed)
  • Restless
  • Can’t sleep
  • Loss of appetite
  • Physical pain (headaches, stomach aches, nausea, or other physical pains with no clear medical cause)
  • Bad performance at school
  • Can’t get along with other kids
  • Afraid of social gatherings

Things that children have a hard time discussing with their parents

Don’t worry if your child hasn’t opened up to you yet. It’s not too late for your relationship to become better. To see change, you must first understand your child better and take the situation from their point of view. 

How to get your kids to open up

Here 3 things your kid won’t discuss with you:

  1. Bullying

Whenever parents ask their child “How was school?” it usually ends up with a one-word answer. Bullying starts as early as preschool. It is always important to know how your child’s day was going when you’re not around since 1 out of 5 kids say at some point they’ve been bullied. 

If your kids are having a tough time in school it is unlikely that they are going to talk about their struggles of being bullied. Research shows that between 25% and 60% of children who are bullied do not report it to an adult or school officials anywhere. 

Amanda Nickerson, director of the University of Buffalo’s Alberti Center for Bullying Violence Prevention, said that it is most important to provide the basis where you are talking to your children about their relationships and peer relationships more generally as a parent.

Badgering your kids to tell you what’s wrong or scolding them for not telling you the problem won’t get you anywhere near helping your children. Instead, ask them:

  • Who they’re playing with and how is that going? 
  • Who did you play today with? 
  • What was it like? 
  • What are some things that you want to do with other children? 
  • What are certain things that you don’t particularly like?

Teasing, bullying, and mean gossip can create a lasting impact on a child. It is a serious matter and parents want to help stop bullying as much as possible. 

  1. Having bad grades 

Not being challenged enough, getting easily distracted or lacking focus, ineffective study habits, and lack of confidence, are many of the possible reasons why your kid gets bad grades. Children feel anxious showing their report cards to their parents or at least talk about it because they don’t want to be scolded or looked down on for doing a bad job.

It’s understandable that parents tend to get strict with their kids and educational performance because parents want the best for their kids. They want their children to get high grades so they get a brighter future. 

Instead of scolding your kids for not doing well in school, sit them down and tell them why it’s important for them to take their grades more seriously. It’s not about being at the top of the class but about their future. Let your children understand the cause and effects of their actions.

Tell your kid you want them to become their best selves when they’re older so they can achieve their dreams of becoming a doctor, an astronaut, or even the next president..It all starts with the simple things- be kind to your classmates, take care of your toys, pay attention to the teacher, and study before playing video games.

Don’t let the motive for your first speech about your aspirations be a poor report card and discuss this with your child every year and be mindful of how they’re doing before you get a report card.

  1. Getting into trouble

What else is going on in your child’s life that you don’t know about? Sometimes, bad behaviour is a way for children to behave when they are unable to cope with pressures in their lives, such as fights with friends, moving to a different house or the divorce of parents. 

It may also be a warning sign of an underlying issue, such as having school issues, playing too many violent video games, or not getting enough sleep. Look for less apparent but serious problems as well, such as potential school bullying or signs of violence.

Chat with your child’s teachers, coaches, scout leaders, and anyone else who sees them on a daily basis. Finally, take a seat with the most important person: your kid. Ask whether they are dealing with any problems and if they know what your kid is going through.

Understanding your child can be challenging when they are times that they are too anxious to say what they want to say. Don’t dwell on criticism and anger if they don’t tell you their problems. Although your child may be hesitant at first to speak to you, keep trying. to connect with your child every day. 

Need more help preparing your kid for school? Get our School Readiness Program and know all the information you need to get your child school ready.

At the end of the day, it’s all about connecting to your kid. No matter how busy you get, you can make time for your kid. Read them a story before bed, brush your teeth together, teach your kids to do chores with you, and make it fun! There are different ways you can connect to your kid, you just need to be creative.

How do you encourage your kids to share their problems with you? Let us know in the comments below.

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