Is Your Child’s Behavior Concerning Or Even Out Of Control?
Does your child regularly act out or misbehave at home, school and/or in public? Or, does he or she seem anxious, lonely or sad? Perhaps you have received concerning calls from teachers or other parents and are unsure of what to do. Or, maybe you suspect that your child is being bullied and don’t know how to best help and advocate for him or her. It might be that your child’s behavior has changed suddenly. Has he or she has become withdrawn, angry or visibly sad? Or, have your child’s eating habits changed, perhaps causing him or her to gain or lose weight rapidly? Maybe you’ve recently moved home or school, lost a pet or experienced another traumatic event. Have you or your partner suffered a job loss or are you going through a separation or divorce? Are you worried and do you want to ensure that your child has the tools and skills needed to move confidently through challenges at home, transitions at school and beyond?
While incredibly rewarding, raising children can also be as equally difficult at times, and you may be at your wit’s end trying to cope with your child’s challenging behavior, anxiety, phobias or fluctuating emotions. Perhaps homework has gone from being a brief event to one that drags on all night. Or, the birth of a sibling may have shifted family dynamics and now your elder child is acting out or withdrawing socially or at home. It may be that you believe your child is especially sensitive or is experiencing learning or academic challenges. Perhaps you and your partner/ex-partner disagree on parenting styles or even on the nature of the challenge your child is facing. Or, it may be that, following a traumatic incident, you are surprised by your child’s nonchalance and want to ensure that he or she is not hiding or suppressing emotions. You may want your child to learn valuable coping skills and feel comfortable expressing thoughts and emotions clearly, yet feel helpless or overwhelmed, unsure how to connect with your child and put him or her at ease.
Many Children Require Extra Support To Adjust To Challenges
As much as parents try to protect children from the outside world, most, if not all, will experience trauma or challenges at some point while growing up. This is especially true in today’s fast-paced world where kids are less sheltered and often exposed to troubling social media, bullying and other forms of cultural negativity from an increasingly young age. Between school, the Internet and peer groups, it can be incredibly difficult for parents to shelter children from adverse experiences. In today’s world, it is especially important to ensure that kids are equipped with adequate coping skills and the tools they need to seek help when they feel scared, lonely, anxious or insecure.
During childhood, transitions and major changes are especially tough for kids to deal with. Most children crave routine and feel uneasy when a shift in daily life occurs. However, changes are inevitable. Whether it’s a divorce or separation, moving home or school, the loss of a friend or family member or a myriad of other occurrences, misbehavior, social or emotional difficulties or poor performance at school can be strong indicators that a child needs additional help processing and coping with change. Some children also get stuck at certain developmental stages and require extra attention to catch up with peers. Often, children diagnosed with anxiety, depression, ADHD or other emotional or behavioral issues can benefit from additional support in the form of child therapy. An experienced child therapist can help your child cope with changes in routine, learn to communicate clearly and move past developmental roadblocks with confidence and increased ease.
Child Counseling Can Help Your Child’s Confidence, Behavior And School Performance
Child therapy can help you and your child feel more closely connected and give your child the tools he or she needs to feel successful and at ease in the world. A skilled and compassionate child therapist can help your child identify and process difficult emotions, cope with conflict and stress, overcome bullying and develop lifelong skills that facilitate a happy, confident life.
In the comfortable, safe space of child therapy sessions, we’ll combine talk and activity therapy, using fun activities to help your child practice new skills and techniques. I’ll provide your child with strategies to help improve social relationships, especially with peers and teachers. As our therapeutic relationship strengthens, I’ll help your child explore thoughts and emotions and identify any underlying factors that may be influencing his or her behavior and wellbeing. Together, we’ll practice techniques to help express emotions clearly, cope with conflict and adapt to transitions. I’ll help your child feel more comfortable asking for help and communicating his or her needs and desires clearly.
Through parent or family therapy sessions, you can be included in the therapy process, and I can help to facilitate any necessary changes in family dynamics, which can help your child feel more secure and confident opening up and confiding in you. And, with your permission, I’ll collaborate with the school system and other important people in your child’s life to put helpful adjustments in place and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
I am an experienced, relationally trained licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT). I use a solution-focused approach to child therapy, incorporating mindfulness techniques to help with self-reflection, focus and self-acceptance. I also use narrative therapy and a family systems approach to help ensure that your family dynamics are working effectively, resolve any ineffective patterns in your family system and facilitate your child feeling more supported and secure. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) also informs my approach and can help your child understand and express emotions and implement positive behavior. And, drawing from attachment-based family therapy model, we can explore your family bonds, which can help you connect with your child on an emotional level, seeing past problematic behavior and getting to the root cause behind it.
Since 2001, I have been helping children in many different settings, including homes, schools, hospitals and pain centers. With support and compassionate guidance, along with effective coping skills and tools to improve communication, your child can overcome challenges and enjoy a more calm, balanced and joyful way of living.
You still may have questions or concerns about child therapy…
I’m afraid that other people will judge me for sending my child to therapy.
All therapy sessions are completely confidential and can stay within the parameters of your family. Furthermore, children do not come with instruction manuals and every parent must do what he or she believes is best. For many parents, child therapy is an important part of their child’s development and helps ensure that their entire family functions optimally and happily. Giving your child the opportunity to attend child counseling at a young age can help overcome challenges and equip him or her with the skills needed to succeed and thrive.
I’m worried that my child will be given a label or diagnosis at therapy.
If your child is struggling emotionally, academically, socially or behaviorally, it’s important to be proactive and seek help. Counseling for kids can teach your child the skills he or she needs to cope with life’s challenges—whatever they might be—and grow up happy and healthy. I also never prescribe to labeling of any kind and believe in the potential of every child to overcome challenges and adapt to new ways of living.
Maybe my child’s sadness, anxiety or problem behavior is just a phase.
If you believe that your child is unhappy or behaving inappropriately, the underlying cause is unlikely to go away if left unaddressed. While you can wait to see if anything changes, it’s preferable to seek help as soon as possible in order to best aid your child in overcoming challenges and getting back to the fun of childhood. If you’re not sure if your child needs additional support, you can always talk to a school counselor and get his or her experienced, professional opinion before deciding to seek therapy. Even if your child isn’t struggling, child therapy can help him or her develop important life skills that can help him or her both today and in future challenges.
Your Child Can Return To Living A Happy, Joyful Childhood
If you’re ready to begin helping your child cope with and overcome emotional, behavioral or social challenges, I can help. Call 972-489-2658 today for a free 15-minute phone consultation. I can answer any questions you have about the benefits of working with a child behavioral therapist.