Parents can face difficulties as children grow and develop.
There are many difficulties that you as a parent might face as your children develop. Intellectual understandings are often not of much help once a problem appears. Once observable problems and stress emerge, you will need to know what is up between you and your child specifically, as well as what are the conflicts your child is facing and not handling well: issues with you, with friends, with self regulation, with school, with self esteem, with aggression. At every age, there are signposts to indicate that things are going well and signposts that indicate there is a need for intervention.
Common Symptoms and Struggles
Some of the problems parents face begin early and can range from feeding, toilet training, handling aggression, limit setting and discipline. Children may be expressing insecurities about themselves that seem contrary to their actual capabilities and qualities of personality. They may be preoccupied by nightmares, have a hard time sleeping well, be disrespectful of authority, unable to concentrate at school, resentful of homework or other responsibilities, Sometimes kids feel isolated from other kids, or feel less able to speak up for themselves. They don’t seem happy. Adolescent rebellion can make life at home a kind of war between 2 worlds, yours and theirs. And divorce, illness, separations and untimely deaths also create unusual stress for children and their families. Sometimes it is hard to know what is wrong when there are emotional outbursts, excessive crying, or social withdrawal.
When Is It Time to Seek Help?
Some of these behaviors may be part of the growing up process. Oftentimes, they are not. How do you know when the issue is no longer an outgrowth of normal development and is now disruptive of the quality of your family life and your child’s ability to grow, mature and enjoy their life in a healthy way?
This is the time to consider consulting a seasoned clinician like myself. I have over 25 years of experience working with children, adolescents and their families. I will listen closely to your description of what bothers you about your child’s behavior. I will then meet with your child either in my playroom (for kids 3-11) or in my regular consulting room (12 through adolescence). After a couple of meetings with you as a parent and a couple of meetings with your child, I can get a sense of what is needed; If needed, I will recommend a course of dynamic therapy for your child accompanied by occasional parental sessions. In my playroom for kids under 11, I have many expressive materials (paint, water play, blocks, balls, dollhouse, clay, games) to facilitate PLAY THERAPY that when utilized by your child express much of what they are feeling and thinking. In my interactions with them, I also learn much about them as well. I build a relationship with them, and build trust, just like with my adult patients. I want them to grow to feel at ease and comfortable with me. I use talk therapy with older children and adolescents with the same goals in mind. In my sessions with you I can provide parental guidance to help you understand what are the issues that are facing your child. Sometimes, it may emerge that there are specific approaches to parenting at this stage that would help your child. I will help you to learn about them and also help you if you find difficulty in implementing them.
We all bring our own experience of being parented to our role as parents, just like we bring our history of close relationships to our adult partnerships. Sometimes those earlier experiences can create roadblocks to more effective relationships. Creating awareness of the complexities of all of this is an important tool to discover. When your kids are adopted, or interracial, have gone through divorce, or have 2 mommies or 2 daddies, or have a single parent, your feelings about these circumstances may add to the complexity as well.
I invite you to join me in a guilt free environment (self blame is not helpful). I want to help your child to rediscover their inner peace, joy and unique self in order to find a clear path to a successful life, and to help your family grow together in the healthiest possible way.