Jun 26, 2019 | Updated: 09:24 AM EDT

Mental Health: Questions To Ask Your Children

May 21, 2019 07:12 AM EDT

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Are you worried that your child might be experiencing or feeling something that he is not telling you? If your child is exhibiting early signs of withdrawal or if he used to be open about things and is suddenly not, then it might be time to sit down and do the talk. Intervention is always better than cure and there is nothing more fulfilling than knowing your child can trust that you will be there for him.

Whether it is a simple mental check-in or you want to understand your child more in-depth, Dr. Eli Lebowitz, director of the Program for Anxiety Disorders at the Yale Child Study Center suggests that parents ask these top questions to know more about their children. Our knowledge of our children and what they are going through will give us an idea of how we can be of help.

Is anything worrying you?

This may be one of the easiest questions to ask but it is one that is definitely difficult to answer for a child. Normally, they would say yes they are okay and that nothing is bothering them, but those who are bullied will remain quiet. Choosing not to answer does not mean they are being disrespectful. Sometimes, it only means that they would rather not talk about it because they think that it is their fault that they are being bullied.

Maybe you can ask some follow up questions like, what they do during break time or who they spend it with.

These are questions whose answers can reveal so much about the child is going through in school. Also, it is in the details of the answers to these questions that you truly learn what they are suffering from or worrying about.

Have you ever witnessed someone get bullied in school?

You'd be surprised by their answer. Whether it happens to them or to someone they know, bullying comes with unwanted effects. Listen to the details of their story. How they assess the situation is how they understand it.

"Don't be afraid to ask them the hard questions," says Dr. Lebowitz. "Ask them about their thoughts of death only means that you are ready to listen to them. Not asking them the question only shows that you are not there."

A child's behavior is always a mystery to their parents. Unless parents start asking, children won't really tell. After all, not asking only means you're not ready to listen nor are you ready for the truth.

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