Child sexual abuse is a lot more common than any of us want to believe. The truth is, it happens across communities, and countless families are blind-sided when it occurs. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 1 in 4 girls and 1 and 13 males are sexually abused before they are 18. The CDC also estimates that 91% of child sexual abuse perpetrators are not strangers (So much for stranger danger!).
As a parent, it’s natural that you want your child to be as healthy and happy as possible. Obviously, as concerned parents, when our kids get physically sick or injured, we take them to the doctor. But what happens when our children’s mental health is declining? For instance, it’s not always easy to tell when an adolescent is suffering from anxiety—there’s no runny nose, cough, or fever. Yet, there are still giveaway signs. You just have to know what you're looking for.
Have you received frequent calls from your child’s school because of their behavior? Do you feel nervous being in public with your child for fear of a tantrum? Can you get nothing done at home because you are constantly managing negative behaviors? Do you find yourself feeling embarrassed about your child’s behaviors?
Children’s mental health is a serious issue. But it’s not always easy to tell when our kids are in turmoil. Therapeutic intervention is often necessary for these problems. Hence, it's ever more important for parents to be informed and know what behavioral signs to look for that may indicate there are concerns.