Significant changes in behavior, appearance, etc.
Disciplinary problems in school and or delinquent, criminal activity.
Unusual interest in or preoccupation with weapons, bombs and violent entertainment — music, videos, games.
Abuse of animals, suicide threats or attempts or self-mutilation.
Parents, school officials, and other youth-service providers can take numerous steps to reduce the stressors on children. Establish sincere and trusting relationships built upon regular, quality communications. Be sensitive to the stressors influencing children and provide timely intervention and support. Be alert for and promptly respond to the warning signs.
Children need safe adults in their lives. It is important to listen. It is important to talk to them honestly. It is important to seek professional help before a crisis happens.
Charlotte Lankard is a licensed marriage and family therapist in private practice. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.