The lingering impacts of recent years continue to weigh on students as they navigate another school year. With nerves frayed from anxiety, stress, and trauma, many continue to have difficulties expressing themselves appropriately, leading to outbursts, defiance, and aggression.
“Parents came back to me a lot this year saying that their child was so sweet and loving, but now they are seeing aggression at home, defiance, acting out, when they had not seen those behaviors before,” said Rosecrance mental health therapist Lisa Thompson in the latest episode of the “On Your Radar” podcast.
With many students’ best efforts to maintain positive mental health falling short more often, parents can provide valued support this semester by maintaining supportive, open communication. In addition, adults can watch for social withdrawal or irritability, as these are common symptoms of struggling youth who may not yet have the language to articulate feelings and thoughts. If social media use is a concern, parents can set healthy boundaries, especially in the evening, to ensure time for the child to wind down.
It’s also important to recognize resilience, celebrating when a student handles a difficult situation well or bounces back from a disappointment.
If you sense a child needs help, contact a school counselor, social worker, or teacher. They are as concerned for the child’s wellbeing as you, and they have resources to help.
Rosecrance works with schools in Chicagoland, northern Illinois, and the Champaign area to provide assessment and intervention services, as well as a full continuum of care. You can reach the Rosecrance Access team at 888.928.5278.