The stressors and pressures of our current lifestyle affect children at a much younger age today, creating a greater need to provide a supportive environment and the right intervention at the earliest. Very often, children have problems similar to that of adults; anxiety, grief, sadness, stress. Child counsellors focus on providing support and therapy to young children and teenagers who are experiencing any kind of trauma or stress or battling a mental illness.
When to seek Counselling for your child?
As children go through various stages of development and experiences, they might also find themselves in challenging situations. While some resolve with time or on their own, sometimes, they may need external intervention, which can happen through a counsellor.
As parents we always want the best for our children but sometimes despite our best efforts, we are unable to understand why our child is behaving or feeling a certain way. This is where child counsellors can help. Their training and expertise can help identify our child’s problems in an objective manner. It is best to treat these issues at the earliest, so children can deal with them effectively. Left untreated or unresolved, these challenges can worsen with time or even persist through adulthood.
Signs That Indicate Your Child May Need Counselling
Extreme fear or anxiety
Sudden shift in behaviour
Social withdrawal, isolation from others
Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
A drop in school performance
Aggression that seems excessive
Physical symptoms such as constant headaches, stomach pain when other illnesses have been ruled out.
Often, children are yet to develop the abilities and skills to label or express what they are feeling. Therefore when they experience certain stressors, it manifests through their behaviour and it may not always be easy to identify the cause. You know your child best. If you see that their behaviour has changed suddenly or drastically and they don’t seem themselves, reach out to a counsellor for help.
Issues Counsellors Work With
Counsellors work with a wide range of problems that children face. You can also reach out to a counsellor for better guidance and support. Some of the common issues a child counsellor works with are
Excessive worry or anxiety
Academic challenges such as lack of motivation, inability to concentrate, school readiness, bullying
Grief, sadness, depression.
Problematic behaviour, aggression
Social skills, making friends, lack of confidence ,
Family problems, impact from parental divorce, separation
Emotional problems such as lack of self-esteem
How Counsellors Can Help
A counsellor provides a child with a safe-space where they can express themselves without fear of judgement or reprimanding. Even though children may not always be able to express their feelings or what they are experiencing, a counsellor can help them navigate their challenges through various methods. Some of the common and most effective strategies that counsellors use with children are play, art, role-play, talking, activities, stories, or problem-solving.
Child Counsellors often collaborate with parents to provide the best outcomes for the child. They work with parents to understand the child’s challenges, identify short-term and long-term goals and build on the child’s strengths. Parents too can benefit from a counsellor’s support and reassurance and feel more equipped to help their child, It is important to understand that a counsellor cannot provide “quick fixes” rather will help the child build on life-skills that will help the child as they continue to grow.
Some Ways A Counsellor Can Help
Break down problems: A counsellor can help your child break down their problems into smaller manageable parts that can be tackled step by step. This makes it less overwhelming and easier to deal with.
Boost confidence: Counselling provides children with a supportive environment to bloom into confident individuals. Counselors help children identify and focus on their strengths rather on the things they feel incompetent about.
Improve Social skills: By helping a child understand their emotional needs and challenges, counselling can help children build a better self-esteem, feel confident about themselves and more at ease in social situations.
Better academic performance: As children learn to build on skills for personal growth and become more confident in their abilities through counselling, this also helps them improve their performance at school.
Remember, counselling is not only for when you feel your child's issues are out of hand. You can reach out to a counsellor even for guidance, support or an objective view on parenting challenges and strategies. A little support and the right guidance can go a long way in helping your child be the best version of themselves.
If you'd like to get a consultation for Counselling for your child, please reach out to us at Tactopus