What are the signs and how can you help? 

The Sad State: This child is quite and often doesn’t move. They may stare off into space, sleep, or zone out watching TV or playing video games. When a child is in this state the best thing to do is to try to get them talk. During this time, just listen; don’t judge. Sometimes I’ve been very successful at the not judging part, and sometimes I have not been. If the sadness is serious enough (lasting days, weeks, and months) seek a trained numeral third party who can talk to the child such as their school social worker or an outside counselor.

The Bored State: This state may look a lot like the sad state. The only different being they may hang off the edge of the sofa like wounded animal, and the words, “I am bored,” come dripping out of their mouth as often as rain. When this occurs I usually have a list of things they could do, which they often reject. The best thing I have found during this time is, if i have the time, is to just do something with the child. More often than not this is a cry for attention to do something with them. Even if it is something as small as taking them to go get ice cream or playing a few rounds of Uno with them.