Healthy Families - How to Notice Changes in Our Kids

How To Notice Changes in our Kids

As parents with a heart for healthy families, we truly desire to know our kids.

We want to know them so we can tell when something is wrong, they aren’t feeling well, something is hurting them or they aren’t dealing with a life situation very well.

Sometimes, we do know that something is “off” but we aren’t sure what.

Or, we notice a new behavior that seems out of character and we aren’t sure how to handle the change.

It is hard to tell if something is serious or just a phase.

Hard to know if you should get someone else involved or handle it at home.

Being a parent is a tough job… throw in transition or a move or a new situation and the job gets harder.

Not only are you going through culture shock or transition stress, but your children are too.

In these seasons, you could notice some changes in your kids that don’t always make sense.

Healthy Families - How to Notice Changes in Our Kids

We have dealt with this a lot over our years of parenting and living overseas. We’ve noticed personality changes, random stomach aches, lots of tears, tiredness, lack of energy, too much energy and more.

Our kids are not immune to the stresses of life. They need us to notice so we can help, equip and guide them.

There are many things that can cause changes in your kids and effect our desire for healthy families.

Age and life season


Family Stress {Some ways to diminish family stress}

Financial Stress

School pressure



and so much more.

They are kids. We are given the task of teaching them and helping them and guiding them through each transition and change. Which means we must know our kids and know when they are struggling.

We need to notice what is going on inside their heart.

Healthy Families

How can you notice changes in your kids?

1. Pay Attention – Are they acting differently? Eating differently? Sleeping differently? Reacting differently? Stick closely to them during big changes or transitions to watch for signs of stress, nervousness, or feelings of being overwhelmed.

2. Talk to them – If they started biting their nails for seemingly no reason, ask them about it. Ask things like: Are you nervous? Is something bothering you? Or, if they started talking back in frustration, ask them why. If they start asking things about your life or your schedule, ask them why. Foster good conversation. Ask good questions. Don’t overreact. Let them talk things out with you.

3. Listen to people around you. Has someone commented on something that seems out of character for your child? Investigate. Listen. Has a teacher or family member mentioned something to you? Investigate. Listen. Others may see things you don’t see.

4. Check their school work. They might have a school journal or have written a paper that will give you clues into how they are handling certain situations.

5. Keep Track of how often things happen – Are they giving you trouble at bedtime 4 out of 7 nights in a week when they used to calmly go to sleep? Are they not eating breakfast when they normally have great appetites when they wake up? Keep track of when and how long some behaviors last. It will help you know if it is just a phase or something you should be concerned about and address.

So, you do this and you realize, “Yeah. There are changes in my child’s behavior or habits.”

Now what?

1. Talk to another mom. There is no doubt that another mom has gone through whatever you are noticing your child doing. Someone has been there and guided their child through whatever your family is facing. Social Media is great for this. Find a community and ask away.

2. Be Cautious – As your kids grow older, they might not want their name and their issue plastered all over facebook or talked about with their friends’ moms. Respect their privacy. Talk with someone you trust or ask in a private group or message some moms you know really well. Don’t add to the problem with embarrassment.

3. Plan time to reconnect – Some changes in your kids can simply be fixed by spending time together as a family. Remembering they are part of a team and they have your support can go a long way in helping them with any situation. Developing family mottos is one way we’ve done this!

4. Healthy Family Habits – Set bed times and stick with them. Some problems really are just a lack of sleep! Eat healthy meals. Lots of good protein and healthy carbs for energy. Get outside and do a nature walk or some hiking or a family bike ride. Give your kids a healthy atmosphere to grow in! If you are feeling unhealthy, chances are they are feeling the same way!

5. Discreetly let your pastor or youth leader or teacher know – The other adults in your child’s life can really help you and be an asset to your parenting. Let them speak truth into your child’s life and help you guide them through changes.

6. Seek God for wisdom – The Holy Spirit really will speak to you and give you creative ideas to change a behavior or guide your child through something they are dealing with. God is able to give us eternal wisdom when speaking to our kids. Don’t ignore that powerful tool!

7. Be involved at church. Don’t neglect the meeting together of God’s people! Your kids could be walking a spiritually dark road. Giving them opportunities to hear from God, learn His word and spend time in His presence is extremely valuable!

8. Give Hugs – Some kids might just be missing being held and hugged. We get busy and days go by without really snuggling or holding our kids close. Let them squirm away and giggle for you to stop but keep hugging! Let Dad’s wrestle and tickle. Moms, give big hugs when they come in the door. That physical connection to you should not be lost as they grow older!

Healthy Families - How to Notice Changes in Our Kids

This really is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to parenting our kids through changes in their lives.

But these are some simple ways you can detect and then correct changes that could be negatively effecting your kids.

If these things still don’t seem to help, talking to a doctor is a great idea.

Be wise and parent in the ability God has given you as the leaders in your home. Prayerfully find ways to build healthy families.

Other Healthy Families Resources

Top Ten Devotionals for families

Parenting at Bedtime

Parenting Ahead

Focus on the Family – always my go to!

Parenting: 14 Gospel Principles That Can Radically Change Your Family

What are some ways that you notice changes in your kids?

What are your go to tips for helping guide them through the process of growing up?




  1. We started homeschooling for a myriad of reasons, #1 because we felt the Lord telling us to, but James had changed so much when he started school. And not in good ways. A teacher at the school noticed him struggling when she knew him from K and watched him as a 1st grader. PAY attention! AMEN sister!

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