Is Everyday a Struggle with Your Child?
- Is your child struggling academically or socially?
- Do you find it difficult to get your child out of bed in the morning and off to school, or to engage in social or family activities?
- Do you agonize about your child’s relationship with his or her peers and worry that your child has few or no friends?
- Do teachers call often, reporting that your child has outbursts, can’t get along with others, is being bullied or has trouble paying attention or sitting still?
- Do you worry that your child is struggling to cope with a traumatic event, such as a divorce or death in the family?
- Is speaking with your child like pulling teeth? Do you worry he or she is becoming increasingly isolated, spending hours alone, preferring his or her company?
- Do you secretly worry you’re a bad parent, desperately wishing you could help your child succeed with friends, in school and in life in general?
When your child is struggling emotionally, everyday can feel like a battlefield. Perhaps you fight with your child to get up and ready for school in the morning. Once at school, your child may fail to get along with teachers and other kids. Perhaps you regularly receive calls from school regarding your child’s disruptive behavior or his or her lack of engagement with other students. You may find yourself feeling hopeless and alone, wondering whether your child will ever have any friends or how your child will cope as he or she gets older and life becomes more complex. No matter the source of your child’s distress, as a loving parent you may desperately wish that you could give your child the tools necessary to succeed in life.
Many Children Experience Emotional Difficulties Growing Up
If most days are a struggle, you should know that many parents know exactly what you’re going through. The things you’re experiencing at home with your child happens in many households across the world. In our modern era where so many people are focused on achievement, many children feel tremendous pressure to succeed. This kind of pressure is difficult for even an adult to handle—but for a child it can be overwhelming. If your child struggles to fit in or experiences bullying, he or she could be filled with feelings of self-doubt and constantly compare him or herself to others. This can explain why some children display attention-seeking behaviors or avoid social activities and school, instead preferring an environment where they feel most safe, such as in their room at home, perhaps playing videogames or absorbing themselves in the Internet.
Your child’s behavior is not a reflection on you as a parent. All children are different. They have different learning styles, personalities, strengths and weaknesses. If your child struggles in school or isolates him or herself, symptoms such as a lack of organizational skills or difficulty concentrating may be the cause. But, it could also simply mean that your child has strengths that are going unrecognized in school, or that he or she is at a different stage of emotional, intellectual or physical development.
Child Counseling Can Help Your Child Prosper Socially and Academically
As a therapist with over seven years of professional experience in child counseling, my job is to help your child or children identify their strengths and take pride in who they are. Only then can children begin to find reward in the things they do best. Through activities like play, art, and games, I create a safe environment where children can reflect on their experiences and express themselves in ways they haven’t before.
In our child counseling sessions, I can help your child improve self-esteem and talk about topics he or she may find embarrassing. I can help your child see that success comes in all shapes and forms. I’ve worked as a counselor in schools and even developed a scholastic counseling program, so I understand the difficulties your child may be experiencing in the classroom. If ADHD-like symptoms are a problem—such as poor organizational skills or difficulty focusing in class—I have the experience and strategies needed to help your son or daughter begin to manage symptoms and learn new social and organizational tools. In my practice I often conference with teachers, visit classrooms, and even help children organize their desks and folders. Your child’s road to recovery can ultimately become a joint effort between parent, child, therapist, and teacher so that you never have to feel alone.
Please know that things can get better. Your child’s difficulties don’t have to stand in the way of his or her success. With the help of child counseling, your child can develop increased self-esteem and take pride in the things that he or she does best. With help, your child can become a healthy young adult and prosper academically, socially, and emotionally – ultimately having better relationships with parents, teachers and peers. Every morning doesn’t have to be a war between wills. Know that it’s possible to have the peaceful household you always dreamed of.
You may be ready to take the next step toward child counseling, but still have questions or concerns…
I’m afraid that I’ll discover I’m a bad parent.
If you’re feeling you’re a failure as a parent, stop thinking that now. You wouldn’t be reading these words right now if you were a “bad parent.” Your child’s difficulties can stem from any number of things that don’t involve you, such as a learning disability, a predisposition to depression or bullying at school. If you’ve come this far, you’re already on the road to becoming the best parent you can be.
I’m worried that other parents will judge my child or me if we begin child counseling.
If people will judge you, let them judge you for the better. You’re taking the steps necessary to improve your child’s life and that’s something to be proud of. Everyone needs support at some point because, let’s face it, parenting isn’t easy! It’s probably the most challenging experience a person can take on during a lifetime and you shouldn’t have to do it alone. Know that it’s okay to seek guidance when it comes to parenting, whether it’s from a parent, a friend or a therapist. Ultimately it’s better to get help and risk being judged than it is to leave your child’s unresolved issues to potentially worsen and fester into adulthood.
My child is only going through a phase. He or she will get better on her own.
It’s true that most, if not all, children experience discomfort as they grow older. But how long are you willing to wait to find out whether your child’s problems are just a phase or if something more serious is occurring? It’s better to tackle your children’s challenges now while there’s still time. Unresolved issues in children can sometimes lead to bigger problems down the road in adolescence. It’s better to identify and resolve issues now so that you don’t have more difficulties in the future.
Don’t Let Your Child’s Emotional Struggles Last a Lifetime
Your relationship with your child doesn’t have to be a struggle. It’s possible for your child to stop isolating him or herself from others, stop being defiant, do better in school, and develop meaningful relationships with teachers and peers.