On account of their limited experience and knowledge, children have a small collection of coping strategies, tools and ideas. Hence they need adult help to find solutions to manage their emotions and behaviors effectively.
When dealing with unexpected behaviors of children, say when the child has suddenly has become very aggressive, often parents do not know what to do. Teens are often triggered with changes in life situations, such as the arrival of new siblings, parents divorcing, families blending, moving to a new locality or culture, grief following the death of a loved one or friend, childhood abuse, trauma, etc. An indicator you may want to consider before deciding if counseling is necessary for your child is when the child’s emotional state or behavior starts interfering with their daily life.
Some of the issues parents report include:
- Excessive anger
- Not calming down easily
- Seeking distressed
- Easily losses calm
- Always seeming stressed or worried
- Getting in trouble in different situations (home, school, and social contexts)
- Issues with making and keeping friends
- Highly fluctuating sleep, mood and/or appetite
Behaviors that are repetitive (impulsive or compulsive) Difficulty in adjusting to new tasks and situations etc. One of the challenges with teens is that they have usually not learned to be aware of their own propensity to make snap judgments about people. This can make it difficult for them to trust well-meaning parents, siblings or even friends who may even approach them with the best of intentions.
On the positive side, teens are usually able to express themselves well verbally, mainly once they feel there is trust and non-judgemental listening. They tend to open up in the company of a safe person who has demonstrated that they are worthy of the teen’s trust. Then they may start sharing their concerns. This person is usually the counselor who then guides them to gain skills and perspectives while helping them re-interpret their experiences in a more meaningful way.
How can counselling therapy help Children?
Counseling can help children in the following ways:
- It can improve parent and child relationship
- It tends to increase the positive behaviors at home and school
- It equips and strengthens teens social skills resulting in an increased self-esteem
- It helps them gain self-control which in turn can help them manage anger and other sharp emotions
- It helps them better performance at school
- It helps reduce the misunderstanding and conflicts with family, siblings, teachers, and friends
- It can help them recognize, acknowledge and heal from any traumatic effects of childhood abuse
- It can help them recover from emotionally distressing events
- It can help them deal with anxiety and depression
- It can help them become better learners
- It can help them explore the world better and enjoy their childhood