Suicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsSSuicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsSuicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsEnglishPsychiatrySchool age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyNAConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2016-02-10T05:00:00Z9.4000000000000062.1000000000000931.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>​​​Find out how to reduce the risk of suicide and self-harm by helping your child cope with difficult emotions.</p>​<p>Thoughts of <a href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">suicide</a> and <a href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English"> self-harm </a> can emerge when a child or teen feels overwhelmed by difficult emotions and can no longer endure them.</p><p>Everyday difficult emotions can include:</p><ul><li>sadness about not being invited to a friend's birthday party</li><li>fear or worry about starting at a new school or camp</li><li>anger and frustration when limits are set, for example screen time</li><li>shame when caught doing something wrong</li></ul><p>These, and similar, issues may not seem overwhelming to an adult but might be incredibly stressful for a child or teen. This is because they have less life experience and their brains are still developing, usually until their early 20s.</p><p>This makes it important for you as a parent or caregiver to acknowledge your child's emotions and encourage them to openly share their thoughts and feelings. Helping your child understand and talk about the emotions they experience in everyday life can help prepare them to better cope with more severe distress.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>It is important to talk to your child about how they feel about everyday ups and downs, even if they do not seem stressful to you, so that they are better prepared to deal with more severe distress. </li> <li>Be aware of how your child expresses their emotions. Younger children may change their behaviour or play routine. Older children might bottle things up or 'act out' when really they are sad or worried.</li> <li>When talking to your child, stay calm, remind them that all emotions are valid, ask direct questions about any thoughts of suicide or self-harm and offer help.</li> <li>Talk to your child's doctor or another mental health professional if your child has ongoing difficulties with their emotions or you learn that your child's schoolwork or friendships are suffering.</li> </ul><h2>When to seek medical help for your child's emotional difficulties</h2> <p>If your child experiences strong emotions and they last longer, or are more intense, than what would generally be expected, it may be cause for concern.</p> <p>It may be helpful to talk to a doctor or other mental health professional if:</p> <ul> <li>you are concerned that your child is having trouble with their emotions</li> <li>other people in your child's life (teachers, friends, relatives) notice that stress is interfering with your child's schoolwork, friendships or involvement in activities</li> </ul><h2>Further information</h2><p>For more information on protecting your child or teen from suicide or self-harm, please see the following pages:</p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">Suicide in children and teens: Overview</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English">Self-harm in children and teens: Overview</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=290&language=English">Suicide risk: Signs and symptoms</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=292&language=English">Suicide and self-harm: How to protect your child</a></p><h2>Resources</h2><p>In Canada, children and teens in distress can contact KidsHelpPhone on <a href="http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/" target="_blank">KidsHelpPhone.ca</a> or call 1-800-688-6868.</p>
Prévention du suicide et de l’automutilation: aider votre enfant à comprendre des émotions difficiles à gérerPPrévention du suicide et de l’automutilation: aider votre enfant à comprendre des émotions difficiles à gérerSuicide and self-harm prevention: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsFrenchPsychiatrySchool age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyNAConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2016-02-10T05:00:00Z000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>Découvrez comment réduire le risque de suicide et d’automutilation en aidant votre enfant à faire face à des émotions négatives.</p><p>Les pensées <a href="/Article?contentid=291&language=French">suicidaires</a> et <a href="/Article?contentid=289&language=French">l’automutilation</a> peuvent apparaître lorsqu’un enfant ou un adolescent se sent dépassé par des émotions difficiles à gérer et ne peut plus les supporter.</p> <p>Les émotions difficiles au quotidien peuvent inclure:</p> <ul> <li>la tristesse de ne pas être invité à la fête d’anniversaire d’un ami;</li> <li>la peur ou l'inquiétude à propos d’un changement d’école ou de camp d’été;</li> <li>la colère et la frustration lorsque des limites sont établies, par exemple le temps passé devant un écran;</li> <li>la honte lorsque l’enfant se fait prendre à avoir mal agi.</li> </ul> <p>Ces circonstances et d’autres situations semblables peuvent ne pas paraître problématiques à un adulte, mais peuvent s’avérer incroyablement stressantes pour un enfant ou un adolescent. C’est parce qu’ils ont moins d’expérience de la vie et que leur cerveau est encore en développement, en général jusqu’à la vingtaine.</p> <p>C’est pourquoi il est important, en tant que parent ou tuteur, de reconnaître les émotions de votre enfant et de l’encourager à parler ouvertement de ses pensées et de ses sentiments. Le fait d’aider votre enfant à comprendre les émotions de sa vie quotidienne et à en parler peut l’aider à mieux tolérer une plus grande détresse.</p><h2>À retenir</h2> <ul> <li>Il est important de parler à votre enfant de ce qu'il ressent vis-à-vis des hauts et des bas de la vie quotidienne, même si pour vous ces fluctuations ne semblent pas stressantes, afin qu’il soit mieux préparé à tolérer une plus grande détresse.</li> <li>Reconnaissez la façon dont votre enfant exprime ses émotions. Les enfants plus jeunes peuvent changer leur comportement ou leurs façons de jouer. Les enfants plus âgés peuvent tout contenir ou mal se conduire lorsqu’ils deviennent tristes ou inquiets.</li> <li>Lorsque vous parlez à votre enfant, restez calme, expliquez-lui que toutes les émotions sont légitimes, posez-lui des questions directes sur d’éventuelles idées de suicide ou d’automutilation et offrez de l’aide.</li> <li>Consultez le médecin de votre enfant ou un autre professionnel de la santé mentale si votre enfant éprouve des difficultés à gérer ses émotions ou si vous apprenez que son travail scolaire ou ses amitiés sont négligés.</li> </ul><h2>Quand solliciter de l’aide médicale pour votre enfant du fait de ses difficultés affectives</h2> <p>Si votre enfant fait l’expérience d’émotions fortes et qu’elles durent plus longtemps, ou sont plus intenses que ce à quoi on pourrait généralement s'attendre, cela peut être une cause de préoccupation.</p> <p>Il peut être utile de parler à un médecin ou un autre professionnel de la santé mentale dans les cas suivants:</p> <ul> <li>vous craignez que votre enfant éprouve de la difficulté à gérer ses émotions,</li> <li>d’autres personnes dans la vie de votre enfant (enseignants, parents, amis) ont remarqué que le stress perturbe son travail scolaire, ses amitiés ou sa participation à des activités.</li> </ul>

 

 

Mental healthMental healthMental healthMEnglishPsychiatryChild (0-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)NANANACaregivers Adult (19+)NALanding PageLearning Hub<p>Learn how to support your child’s well-being with activity, sleep and nutrition; and how to recognize and manage various mental health conditions.</p><p>This hub includes resources for parents on how to support your child's mental health and general well-being through physical activity, sleep and nutrition. It also provides information on the signs, symptoms and treatments of different mental health conditions, including anxiety, bipolar disorder, depression, behavioural disorders, anorexia nervosa and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.<br></p><br> <div class="asset-video"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/videoseries?list=PLjJtOP3StIuURSU5nmvDVZhSR8Ibr7NHK" frameborder="0"></iframe><br></div><p>Above is our mental health video playlist. To view other AboutKidsHealth videos, please visit the <a href="https://www.youtube.com/user/Aboutkidshealth">AboutKidsHealth YouTube channel</a>.</p><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Well-being</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>The everyday pressures of growing up can put a strain on any child's mental well-being. Find out how physical activity, a healthy sleep routine, screen time limits and balanced nutrition can boost your child's mental health and support them through difficult times.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Physical activity</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=642&language=English">Physical activity: Guidelines for children and teens</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=641&language=English">Physical activity: Benefits of exercise for health and well-being</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Sleep</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=645&language=English">Sleep: Benefits and recommended amounts</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=646&language=English">How to help your child get a good night's sleep</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=647&language=English">How to help your teen get a good night's sleep</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Screen time</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=643&language=English">Screen time: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=644&language=English">How to help your child set healthy screen time limits</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Nutrition</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=639&language=English">Nutrition: How a balanced diet and healthy eating habits can help your child's mental health</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Anxiety disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Every child feels anxiety at some point as a natural part of growing up. An anxiety disorder, however, is when anxious feelings interfere with a child's everyday routine. Learn more about the signs, symptoms and range of anxiety disorders and how they ​are treated.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=18&language=English">Anxiety: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=271&language=English">Anxiety: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=270&language=English">Types of anxiety disorders</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=701&language=English">Anxiety: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=702&language=English">Anxiety: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Resources for coping with anxiety</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Anxiety%20caregiver%20handout_Eng%2004_03_2020.pdf">The CARD System - Coping with your child's anxiety (for parents/caregivers)</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Obsessive compulsive disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) occurs when a person suffers from troubling and intrusive thoughts and/or follows repetitive or strict routines to feel less worried. Learn about the causes, signs and impact of this disorder and how you can help your child.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=285&language=English">Obsessive compulsive disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=288&language=English">OCD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=286&language=English">How OCD affects your child's life</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=709&language=English">OCD: Psychotherapy and medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=287&language=English">OCD: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Depression</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Depression is an illness that causes someone to feel deep sadness or a lack of interest in activities that they once enjoyed. Discover how this condition affects a child's mood, sleep, concentration and energy levels, and how it can be treated.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=19&language=English">Depression: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=284&language=English">Depression: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=707&language=English">Depression: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=708&language=English">Depression: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Bipolar disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>When a person has bipolar disorder, they alternate between low and elevated moods for days, weeks or months at a time. Learn about the bipolar disorder spectrum, the symptoms of manic and depressive episodes and how medications, therapy and lifestyle changes can help.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=279&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=280&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=704&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Treatment with medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=705&language=English">Bipolar disorder: Psychotherapy and lifestyle changes</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Suicide and self-harm</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A child who experiences thoughts of suicide or self-harm is often suffering from overwhelming emotional pain. Find out how to help your child cope with difficult emotions, how to support and protect your child and where to find professional help.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">Suicide in children and teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English">Self-harm in children and teens: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=290&language=English">Signs and symptoms of suicide risk</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=293&language=English">How to help your child with difficult emotions</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=292&language=English">How to protect your child from harm</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Eating disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>An eating disorder not only risks your child's health but can also disrupt family life. Find out about the symptoms and treatment of anorexia, bulimia, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and binge eating disorder and how you can help your child recover.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Anorexia nervosa</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=268&language=English">Anorexia nervosa: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=269&language=English">Anorexia: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=267&language=English">Anorexia: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=700&language=English">Anorexia: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=266&language=English">Anorexia: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Bulimia nervosa</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=282&language=English">Bulimia nervosa: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=283&language=English">Bulimia: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=281&language=English">Bulimia: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=706&language=English">Bulimia: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=294&language=English">Bulimia: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID)</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=274&language=English">Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=275&language=English">ARFID: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=273&language=English">ARFID: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=703&language=English">ARFID: Treatment options</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=272&language=English">ARFID: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li><li><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h3>Binge eating disorder (BED)</h3></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=277&language=English">Binge eating disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=278&language=English">BED: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=640&language=English">Obesity: Medical complications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=276&language=English">BED: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) involves difficulties with controlling attention and regulating behaviour. Discover the main symptoms of ADHD in children and teens, how the disorder is diagnosed and how to help your child at home and at school.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1922&language=English">Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1923&language=English">ADHD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1997&language=English">ADHD: How to help your child at home</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1999&language=English">ADHD: Communicating with your child's school</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1998&language=English">ADHD: Treatment with medications</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Behavioural disorders</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Behavioural disorders include oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Learn how these disorders differ from typical misbehaviour, how therapy and medications can help and how you can manage problematic behaviour at home.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1924&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1925&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2000&language=English">Behavioural disorders: Treatment with psychotherapy and medications</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2001&language=English">Behavioural disorders: How to help your child at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is triggered by experiencing or witnessing a terrifying event. Learn about the main symptoms of PTSD, how the condition is diagnosed and how psychotherapy and medications can help your child.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1927&language=English">Post-traumatic stress disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1928&language=English">PTSD: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2005&language=English">PTSD: Treatment with psychotherapy and medications</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Brain disorders and mental health</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A brain disorder includes a condition, illness or injury that affects the brain and how it develops before or after birth. Find out how a brain disorder can affect your child's learning, mood and social skills, how its impact on mental health is assessed and how to help your child cope.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=1926&language=English">Brain disorders and mental health: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2002&language=English">Brain disorders: Assessing your child for neuropsychological difficulties</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2003&language=English">Brain disorders: How to help your child cope</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=2004&language=English">Brain disorders: Common treatments</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Parenting a child with a chronic condition</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>A chronic conditions can affect a child's mental health and everyday routines. Discover how parents and caregivers can help manage both their child's health care and routines, and support their own mental health.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3400&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3401&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Helping your child manage their health</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3402&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Maintaining your child's everyday routines</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3403&language=English">Living with a chronic condition: Supporting yourself as a caregiver</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Substance use disorder</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Substance use is the use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs for pleasure or enjoyment. Learn about the signs and symptoms of substance use and how you can help your teen if you suspect they have a substance use disorder.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3663&language=English">Substance use disorder: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3664&language=English">Substance use disorder: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3665&language=English">Substance use disorder: How to help your teen at home</a></li></ol></div><div class="panel panel-primary"><div class="panel-heading clickable"> <span class="pull-right panel-heading-collapsable-icon"><i class="mdi mdi-chevron-down"></i></span> <h2 class="panel-title">Understanding functional symptoms and somatization</h2></div><div class="panel-body list-group" style="display:none;"><p>Somatization involves expressing distress through physical symptoms. Find out about the mind-body connection, signs of somatization and the various ways to support your child or teen.</p></div><ol class="list-group" style="display:none;"><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3666&language=English">Functional symptoms: Overview</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3667&language=English">Mind-body connection</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3668&language=English">Somatization: Signs and symptoms</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3669&language=English">Somatization: Common treatments</a></li><li class="list-group-item"> <a class="overview-links" href="/Article?contentid=3770&language=English">Somatization: How to help your child or teen cope</a></li></ol></div>https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Mental_health_landing-page.jpgmentalhealthhttps://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/Logo_MPA.png<span class="recognition-text">Production and maintenance of these articles were made possible in part by an educational grant provided by the <a href="/Sponsors#medpsy">Medical Psychiatry Alliance</a>. SickKids is grateful for the generous support of our corporate partners but does not endorse specific products or services, nor receive any editorial direction from its sponsors.</span><br>

 

 

Suicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotions293.000000000000Suicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsSuicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsSEnglishPsychiatrySchool age child (5-8 years);Pre-teen (9-12 years);Teen (13-18 years)BodyNAConditions and diseasesCaregivers Adult (19+)NA2016-02-10T05:00:00Z9.4000000000000062.1000000000000931.000000000000Health (A-Z) - ConditionsHealth A-Z<p>​​​Find out how to reduce the risk of suicide and self-harm by helping your child cope with difficult emotions.</p>​<p>Thoughts of <a href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">suicide</a> and <a href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English"> self-harm </a> can emerge when a child or teen feels overwhelmed by difficult emotions and can no longer endure them.</p><p>Everyday difficult emotions can include:</p><ul><li>sadness about not being invited to a friend's birthday party</li><li>fear or worry about starting at a new school or camp</li><li>anger and frustration when limits are set, for example screen time</li><li>shame when caught doing something wrong</li></ul><p>These, and similar, issues may not seem overwhelming to an adult but might be incredibly stressful for a child or teen. This is because they have less life experience and their brains are still developing, usually until their early 20s.</p><p>This makes it important for you as a parent or caregiver to acknowledge your child's emotions and encourage them to openly share their thoughts and feelings. Helping your child understand and talk about the emotions they experience in everyday life can help prepare them to better cope with more severe distress.</p><h2>How children express their emotions</h2> <p>You may not always receive a clear message from your child about the emotions they are experiencing. Children often express emotions differently, depending on their developmental level.</p> <p>Very young children may show their emotions through their behaviour or play. Older children may sometimes 'bottle up' or keep negative emotions inside. For instance, they may complain of aches and pains during times of stress but withdraw or respond with "I don't know" when asked how they feel. Other children might be outwardly irritable, aggressive or angry as a way to express their sadness or worry.</p><h2>Key points</h2> <ul> <li>It is important to talk to your child about how they feel about everyday ups and downs, even if they do not seem stressful to you, so that they are better prepared to deal with more severe distress. </li> <li>Be aware of how your child expresses their emotions. Younger children may change their behaviour or play routine. Older children might bottle things up or 'act out' when really they are sad or worried.</li> <li>When talking to your child, stay calm, remind them that all emotions are valid, ask direct questions about any thoughts of suicide or self-harm and offer help.</li> <li>Talk to your child's doctor or another mental health professional if your child has ongoing difficulties with their emotions or you learn that your child's schoolwork or friendships are suffering.</li> </ul><h2>How to talk to your child about their emotions and any suicidal thoughts</h2> <h3>Remember that feelings are not right or wrong</h3> <p>You can help your child come to terms with difficult emotions they experience by reminding them that all emotions are normal. Emotions such as sadness, anger, anxiety, depression and shame are just as valid, and important, as joy, excitement and happiness. All these emotions – both positive and negative – communicate information.</p> <h3>Be calm and supportive</h3> <p>If you want to sit down and talk with your child, make sure it is at a time when neither you nor your child feels rushed or pressured.</p> <p>Talk to your child in a calm and supportive manner. Always let them know that you are there for them, accept them and what they are going through and try to listen to how they are feeling without interrupting, arguing or correcting.</p> <h3>Be specific and direct</h3> <p>If you have noticed some behaviour that concerns you, be specific about it. For instance, you might say, "I notice you are spending more time in your room and aren't going out with your friends as much. I just want to check in on how you're doing."</p> <p>If you have noticed some of the <a href="/Article?contentid=290&language=English">possible warning signs of suicidal thoughts​</a>, ask your child directly about them. This tells them that it is ok to talk with you about their emotions. You might ask, for example, "Do you ever have feelings that you don't want to be here anymore?", "Do you ever wish you were dead?" or "Do you ever think about hurting yourself?"</p> <h3>Offer help</h3> <p>Ask your child what you can do to help them. For instance, do they want to spend more time talking with you or do they want to talk to a healthcare professional or counsellor? You can also ask if you can help them get more involved in the activities that they enjoy.</p> <h3>Remind your child of the positives</h3> <p>While it is important to give your child time to express their negative emotions, don't forget about the positives. Ask your child about what is going well in their life, and remind them of their strengths and of those who love them and are there for support.</p><h2>When to seek medical help for your child's emotional difficulties</h2> <p>If your child experiences strong emotions and they last longer, or are more intense, than what would generally be expected, it may be cause for concern.</p> <p>It may be helpful to talk to a doctor or other mental health professional if:</p> <ul> <li>you are concerned that your child is having trouble with their emotions</li> <li>other people in your child's life (teachers, friends, relatives) notice that stress is interfering with your child's schoolwork, friendships or involvement in activities</li> </ul><h2>Further information</h2><p>For more information on protecting your child or teen from suicide or self-harm, please see the following pages:</p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=291&language=English">Suicide in children and teens: Overview</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=289&language=English">Self-harm in children and teens: Overview</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=290&language=English">Suicide risk: Signs and symptoms</a></p><p><a href="/Article?contentid=292&language=English">Suicide and self-harm: How to protect your child</a></p><h2>Resources</h2><p>In Canada, children and teens in distress can contact KidsHelpPhone on <a href="http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/" target="_blank">KidsHelpPhone.ca</a> or call 1-800-688-6868.</p><img alt="" src="https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/suicide_self_harm_helping_your_child.jpg" style="BORDER:0px solid;" />https://assets.aboutkidshealth.ca/AKHAssets/suicide_self_harm_helping_your_child.jpgSuicide and self-harm: Helping your child understand difficult emotionsFalse