When our Kids Hurt

Megan Bergfeld, LCSW, ACM-SW

Calling all fellow parental figures! How is back-to-school going for you and your kiddos? My 2nd grader was bummed going into the second week because “now we have to start doing work.” This made me giggle at first, but then I started thinking.

I bet lots of children are nervous about the new year. Academic pressure, peer dynamics, “security drills,” planning for the future, etc., can get overwhelming and morph into emotional struggles like anxiety and depression. These feelings can manifest differently from child to child– perfectionism, withdrawal, meltdowns, you name it. These struggles can elevate the stress level in the home, which impacts everyone in it – including us. As much as it may pain us to admit it, we don’t always know how to help our kids.

Hear me loud and clear: it is okay to ask for help. In fact, it is oftentimes best that we do. Building a support network that includes your child’s teachers, guidance counselor, and pediatrician is a good place to start.

Sometimes more specialized support is warranted. VUMC has made it easier for health plan members to get behavioral health services for their children. Check out the new platform Brightline and all the other options available through Aetna.

When our kids hurt, we do, too. The counselors at Work/Life Connections-EAP are here to support you. Call 615-936-1327 to schedule your free and confidential appointment today.