The field of child psychiatry has really grown over the past few years. Experts now know a lot more about how children's minds work and how to positively influence their mental health. There are many times when it may be beneficial for your child to see a psychiatrist, such as after someone close to them passes away or after a bullying incident at school. Regardless of your reason for seeking psychiatric care for your child, the following tips should prove helpful.
Find a psychiatrist who you both feel comfortable around.
Most psychiatrists, and especially child psychiatrists, are happy to schedule a brief "meet and greet" before they schedule a formal appointment with a patient. It's a good idea to schedule such a visit with a few different psychiatrists before you pick one. During this visit, you will get a chance to chat with the psychiatrist and see whether their approach and demeanor match up with your own preferences. You'll also be able to assess how comfortable your child feels around them.
Pay attention to how your child acts when the psychiatrist talks with and interacts with them. Are they relaxed and open? Or do they act shy and refuse to engage? A psychiatrist will be able to make a lot more progress with your child if your child feels open and comfortable around them.
Give the psychiatrist a family history, if possible.
Do you have a family history of any mental health struggles such as anxiety, depression, or bipolar disorder? This may or may not have anything to do with the struggles your child is having. However, it is helpful for the psychiatrist to know as many of these disorders do have a genetic component. Knowing which ailments to look out for may help the psychiatrist accurately diagnose and treat your child.
Help your child "do their homework."
Only so much happens in the actual psychiatric appointment. A lot of the work happens between appointments. Your child's psychiatrist may send them home with exercises to do and things to work on. As a parent, you'll need to do your best to be a facilitator in these activities. Some of them may involve you, and others may be meant for your child to do independently. Even if you're not meant to be actively involved in an activity, be sure to be encouraging towards your child as they "do their homework."
With the tips above, your child can get more out of their psychiatric care. Contact a children's psychiatrist in your area for more information.
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