Tips from Dr. Paul Dworkin
1) Positive early relationships are important to promote a young child's healthy development. Early mental health is really about positive social and emotional development.
* Caring attachments with parents and caregivers
* Decreasing toxic stress
* Creating an environment where the baby feels safe and secure
2) Some early warning signs can include:
* Infants: the lack of ability to be soothed, lack of regular sleep/awake cycles, and serious issues with feeding.
* Young children: may seem bored, not interested in others and in activities given to them. They may have little emotion and seem distant in their relationships with others. Language development may be delayed.
3) Parents know their child best. If you have a concern for your child's development or behavior, tell your child's doctor as soon as you can. Other resources include:
* calling CT's 2-1-1 Child Development Infoline or
* visiting www.kidsmentalhealthinfo.com
NOTE: Just because you do the right things doesn't mean your child won't have mental health problems when they are older… but they will be better able to cope with the problems they do face.