Thinking about counseling for children is not something any parent wants to go through. We raise our children the best we can with what we have. And we certainly want them to have a better childhood than we did. If we could shelter our kids from the disparities of life, we would, however life sometimes has a different plan. Parents divorce, and kids bear the impact. Learn more about Courageous Kids Counseling – Child Therapy.
Mom or dad may lose their job, and children pick up on the tension and anxiety. We can’t expect our children to live in bubbles and to think we can shield them from experiencing hurt, frustration, or disappointment is unrealistic. But what if you, as a parent, are going through an emotionally taxing situation? Many parents wonder – is my child resilient enough? Will he or she bounce back? And many of us convince ourselves that they will. Until they see signs that they aren’t.
Many parents don’t notice the warning signs that their child may need to seek out counseling until the child’s school, coach or church leader brings it up. Typically, when that happens, a child has become habituated by the behavior in question. Imagine the difference if the parents were able to pick up on signs that their child may benefit from seeing a professional. To help increase awareness, I’ve put together a few clues that can help parents rule out if their child’s behavior is a “phase” or something deeper.
These signs include:
- Changes in your child’s school/academic performance. Is your child’s grades dropping? Is she missing school? Does he not turn in homework assignments?
- Does your child worry excessively?
- Has your child lost interest in activities that he was into? If your child was an avid reader, did she stop reading or going to the library? Did your child stop hanging out with her close set of friends?
- Does your child’s mood shift rapidly? Did he begin having temper tantrums? If he did in the past, are they more frequent? Is your child more aggressive? More depressed?
- Is your child participating in dangerous/illegal activities, such as alcohol, drugs, cigarettes? Vandalism?Theft?Inappropriate sexual behavior?
- Is your child reverting to an earlier stage of development? Is he wetting the bed when he’s been potty trained for several years?
If you answered yes to any 2 of these questions, and you suspect your child is struggling from a mood or behavior disorder, please contact a professional counselor for an assessment. If your child gives any indication that he/she may hurt him/herself, please act immediately.
Unresolved issues in childhood can have a lasting impact on adulthood, hindering future academic and social success. Children who don’t get the attention they need in their early stages of development may have limited capacity for attachment. Therapy can help children resolve current problems by teaching a child various ways to cope. Putting new tools in a child’s toolbox not only helps them in the here and now, they are better prepared for the future.