Emotions can be scary. Especially for children, not being able to fully understand what you are feeling or how to communicate yourself can lead to difficult behavior patterns, anger, violence, or other negative forms of expression.
That’s where child therapy services come in. Especially if your child has recently experienced a life-changing event, such as a death or divorce, if they have been exposed to other trauma and/or abuse in the past, or if they’re simply having problems with behavior at home or in school, consulting with a therapist can help your child cope with their feelings and form the skills they need to recognize and overcome those obstacles as they mature into teenagers and adults.
It can be tough to know the difference between when your child is just having a hard time and when your child is encountering difficult psychological pain and needs help. The good news is: therapy can help for both.
Especially at a young age, it's important for children to feel heard, supported, and comfortable expressing their feelings in healthy ways, no matter what they are going through. Therapy is an extremely good opportunity to provide them with that framework, which in most cases can pay dividends for the rest of their lives.
We understand parents may have some anxiety surrounding how to explain therapy to their child. However, by explaining that therapy is an activity meant to help people feel good and take their pain away is a good way to earn their trust and put them at ease as much as possible.
While every child and situation is different, it's always best to avoid communicating the idea there is something wrong with them or they are in trouble. Instead, take this as an opportunity to show your support for them and explain that this is a great way to have fun and bond together.
Help You Understand Your Child
One of the most positive aspects of child counseling is that it can help parents understand their child better. Rather than play the guessing game and make assumptions about their behavior and feelings, parents gain the opportunity to learn more about what their child is going through and why they are behaving in a certain way directly from them.
Think of children's therapy as a way to synchronize together. When both parent and child are on the same page--or at least when the parent is able to recognize the reasons why their child is acting a certain way--it can dramatically improve the way the two of you communicate and influence one another’s behavior.
Improve Their Behavior and Emotional Intelligence
Counseling is an excellent way to teach children how to recognize and verbalize their emotions in a more articulate way, as well as find new, positive ways to express themselves. By doing so, they are more likely to catch negative behavior before it manifests into something painful, disruptive, or even destructive.
Improve Their Self-Esteem
In therapy, children are encouraged to think positively about themselves and their emotions rather than blame themselves and spiral out of control. Although it can be difficult for a child to know exactly what they want and need to feel good at any given time, therapy gives them the confidence to process their behavior on their own and recognize that it’s okay to ask for help if they need it. They will begin to understand they have more control over their behavior and mood than they think.
Improve Your Communication
One of the unique things about children’s counseling is that it’s just as useful for the parent as it is for the child. Therapy will not only teach you more and more about who your child is and what they are going through, but it will also teach you how to successfully tune in to their pain and provide support for them in the most helpful way possible.
As a parent, the deeper you can understand their behavior, the better equipped you are to ask the right questions and provide space when needed to defuse difficult situations rather than agitate them. The longer you are able to communicate in this positive and productive way, the stronger your bond can grow.
Based in Scottsdale, Arizona, Pathways Counseling Services helps children and their families receive the expert treatment and emotional support they need to improve troubled behaviors and overcome emotional barriers that lead to an improved overall quality of life. Regardless of your child’s situation or background, we highly encourage you to reach out and take positive steps forward.
To schedule a session with one of our child therapy specialists, please call us at (480) 235-1682 or schedule an appointment here to get in touch.