Parents can keep an eye on their child's physical development ensuring that they develop normally but it is much harder to ensure their psychological development. Parents divorcing, family deaths, moving school or house, friendship disruption or the loss of a family pet can all seem like normal life events to adults however to a small child these situations can cause a serious developmental delay.
Whenever a young child faces an emotional challenge, their brain energy will be spent dealing with it and so there is little availability for cognitive learning. Instead they will use all their cognitive ability to manage the emotional challenge that they are facing. If too much time is taken up with this challenge the child will miss out on important developmental stages in their emotional and social learning. They may have difficulty with normal activities such as fully engaging in play. Play is a very important aspect of a child's cognitive and physical development. Through play, children experience socialisation and learn how to identify, relate and share with a peer. It's the beginning of a very important human capacity.
Signs that may show a child is reacting to a stressful/emotional challenge are:
overstimulation (over-exposure to tv/social media), troubles at school, bedwetting, constipation, eating disorders, skin problems (eczema, psoriasis…), lasting night terrors, hypo/hyperactivity, withdrawal and gaze averting.
Psychotherapy uses creative methods to help young people re-integrate lost development stages. It helps to build their self-esteem and gives them tools to manage and control any future worries and anxieties resulting in stronger and more resilient teenagers/adults.