The way I see it, there’s a lot to be depressed about these days. Shall I count the ways? No. It’s too depressing. Iran and a nuclear weapon; the idiocy and thuggery with these so-called Orwellian named ‘Occupy’ groups and then we have the Penn State child abuse events.
Bullying seems to be causing several youngsters to commit suicide; the world banking system is about to impoverish much of the world, for many single women with illegitimate children, the government becomes the father; the surrogate provider, so who needs a dad around the house?
And on and on it goes.
Parents are losing confidence that right can be distinguished from wrong. They don’t know what to teach their children. Parents are intimidated and their authority is being eroded by the culture, by the media and by the government. It is becoming increasingly foolish to be responsible; to pay off debts, to pay taxes, to save for emergencies; indeed, to take care of yourself
Evidently the strains and pressures of the world, on the micro scale and on the macro scale, are affecting our children. Families are under stress, financially and emotionally.
What’s not to be depressed about?
Parents are getting depressed.
No surprise their children are also.
YET, THERE ARE HEROES
Yet, against this tsunami of cultural decline and loss of direction, there are heroes helping parents raise decent honorable children and creating a force like a cavalry charge to protect our children from the oceanic flows of an increasingly irrational and selfish world.
High on the list of heroes, in my opinion, is Michele Borba. I have read her material for years. Quite accidentally I found her book, “Building Moral Intelligence.” I was sufficiently impressed by her insights and wisdom and practical knowledge that I cited some of her statements in my book.
I am pleased to say that I have been Twittering with Michele for several months. Her tweets drive me to her latest articles on her website and to her latest books. Michele has been blogging about parenting issues and challenges and offers practical accessible solutions to solving issues as best as intelligent caring parents can.
I just read her article, Depression and Kids Parenting tips to help you understand what depression looks like age by age.
Read the complete article. It is comprehensive, somewhat lengthy and treats the subject in depth, with plenty of links and an index.
HERE ARE KEY POINTS:
Here is what’s not true about your child and depression:
“She’s too young to be depressed.”
“Don’t worry. It’s only a phase.”
“Real depression is something only teens or adults get.”
“He’ll outgrow it.”
Beware that depression is now diagnosed in even toddlers! The sooner our children get the right diagnosis and the right treatment, the better the prognosis. Here are a few states you must know.
MICHELE THEN OFFERS SEVERAL CATEGORIES OF ISSUES AND ILLUMINATES EACH ONE. HERE IS THE LIST AND A FEW WORDS:
The Kid Are Not All Right
The sobering reality is that depression does strike kids–and it hits hard. Clinical depression is not a phase or a normal stage of development, nor something kids can shrug off.
- A child today is ten times more likely to be seriously depressed compared to a child born in the first third of this century.
Depression Hitting Kids At Younger Ages
The rates of childhood depression are not only increasing but are also impacting younger kids. In a recent Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, Current Directions in Psychological Science , child psychiatrist and researcher, Joan Luby from Washington University in St. Louis reports recent findings examining depression in preschool-age children.
What Depression in Different Ages
Here are what to expect by stages in ages of children from my book, The Big Book of Parenting Solutions: 101 Answers to Your Everyday Challenges and Wildest Worries.
Depression Signs in a Preschooler
Verbal skills are limited so will have trouble describing feelings. Look for loss of pleasure in play (or inability to enjoy playtime) as well as frequent and unexplained stomachaches, headaches, and fatigue; overactive and excessive restlessness; irritability or low tolerance for frustration; frequent sadness.
Depression Signs in a School Age Child
In addition to preschooler signs watch for: Sleep pattern changes, significant weight loss or gain, tearfulness, excessive worrying and low self-esteem, unprovoked hostility or aggression, drop in grades, refusal or reluctance to attend school, loss of interest in playing with peers, feelings of unworthiness: “Nobody likes me.” “I’m no good.” “I can’t do anything right.”
Depression Signs in Adolescents
In addition to school age signs look for: sleeping longer, feeling hopeless, abusing drugs, alcohol or smoking, conduct problems in school, fatigue, loss of enjoyment of previously enjoyable activities, self-destructive behavior, difficulty with relationships, eating-related problems, social isolation, doesn’t attend to appearance, extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, physical slowness or agitation, morbid or suicidal thoughts.
When To Worry About Your Child: Use the “Too Index”
So when do you get help? I always suggest parents use the “TOO Index:”
- Whenever your child’s behavior becomes TOO different from his normal, typical behavior
You can also refer to her daily blog, Dr. Borba’s Reality Check for ongoing parenting solutions and late-breaking news about child development