As your child develops and circumstances change, your child may react or become anxious in ways that are hard to manage for parents.
You may notice your child yelling, hiding, throwing things, or hitting others, or perhaps your child is unusually silent. Your hearts break when your child struggles to make friends or discover maybe they keep secrets and refuse to accept when you are just trying to help, and nothing is working.
It can also be hard to know when it’s just a function of being a kid or addressing something further.
Does my child need to see a therapist?
Not all life’s challenges will impact your child, as kids are naturally resilient. All children are unique, yet even most children or teens may engage in challenging behaviors from time to time, especially when they are tired, stressed, or sick.
Child’s stress may look like this:
- excessive fighting with siblings or other family members
- defiance and talking back
- reclusive; wanting to stay in their room
- bedwetting or nightmares
- clinginess and whining
- tantrums and headbanging
Pay close attention to your child over a few weeks, and get recommendations from the school counselor, pre-school teacher. Then use your intuition.
Assess the situation:
- Is the teacher contacting you about misbehavior or inappropriate conduct?
- Is your child losing friends quickly?
- Has there been upheaval at school or home? (divorce, bullying, changing schools, death, parents work schedule)
- Does the behavior seem age-appropriate?
- Is the behavior affecting relationships with siblings, friends, or other family members?
- Is your child avoiding activities at school and family functions?
How does a child therapist help?
At Behavioral Health Alliance, our child therapists have specialized training on how to communicate with children in ways that are accessible to the child.
We start to build a trusting relationship through play. This leads to “talk time.”
The focus on play is also helpful for a child who doesn’t like too much attention. Some children feel anxious that watching their every move is right or wrong.
Instead, the shared experience of play helps your child to feel comfortable and express their true selves.
Play also leads to the healing talk that feels natural and not forced.
How are parents involved in the therapy process?
Parents are an essential part of the therapeutic process. Through participation in the session, you will learn valuable skills, tips, and tricks that will help you feel calmer, more in control, and more connected and how to gently redirect your child’s behaviors.