Everyone can feel empty sometimes deep inside. As adults, we learn to deal with this feeling through various forms of action, some of which can have a negative impact or positive impact on our lives, depending on which direction and way we learn to cope with it. But how as parents can you know when that empty feeling inside your child is more than just boredom?
For me, being a bipolar mom, I’ve experienced that empty feeling numerous times in my life, and for many reasons. Losing someone I love. Feeling alone. Feeling insecure. And sometimes for no reason at all. It’s difficult to describe. For me, it’s a physical emptiness, one I often used food, alcohol or drugs to fill up in my younger years, never understanding that no matter how much I tried to fill the void, I was only damaging myself and my health.
For children, it’s much different. My son expresses his emptiness in the form of sensations.
Out of his body
All over the place
These are just a few of the feelings used to describe how many people experiencing emptiness feel within themselves. So what can do to help our kids figure things out?
Kids have triggers just like we do. They can come out of the blue and be extremely overwhelming. Triggers can be anything from too many people around, too much stress, change in environment to losing someone they love. Discovering your child’s triggers will go a long way to helping them curb that emptiness they may be feeling.
This is a huge one for children. Kids become bored easily, especially nowadays with video games and electronics, cell phones, and social media. Kids are not going outside to play as often, which can lead to depression, sadness and anxiety, and feeling empty inside. This, in turn, can trigger behavioral issues and act out in ways that will negatively impact your child’s life. To help, keep your kids busy with activities that will keep focused on fun and creative things, and not the void they may be feeling inside of them.
Go for walks
Limit video and screen time
Get them involved in sports
Take up crafts or artwork
Teach them the art of cooking
Put them in dance
Explain What Feeling Empty Inside Means
Kids require information. In fact, they thrive on it. Being honest and truthful about what they are feeling will go a long way if you can give them the information they need to know they aren’t alone. When the empty feelings they are having is more than just being bored or sad inside, talking to them about the root of the problem can help more than you know.
Like adults, kids can feel empty and not just for mental health reasons. Perhaps they have no friends. Or they are being bullied. Maybe school isn’t going well. No matter what the issues are, positive thinking and change is vastly important to helping your child regain their sense of self. Most of us feel empty because change needs to happen, but we may not know how to go about doing so.
Make up a plan on what needs to change
Brainstorm ideas with your child
Create a wish board of positive things
I am not a doctor. I’m just a special needs mother. You are your child’s parent. You are their advocate. If you feel the emptiness in your child is experiencing goes beyond feeling down in the dumps or just basic sadness which we all suffer from at times. Speak to your child’s school counselor. Visit your community services and ask for programs that may help. Or visit your local Child & Mental Health for programs and advice on how to help your child cope.
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We can all feel empty at times. The difference is knowing that there is something we can do to change it, and if we can’t then we need to get the help required to lead us on a positive path of recovery.