Do I need to hire a counsellor for my child?
All parents want their kids to be healthy and happy. Mental illness of a child is among the most agonizing problems a family can go through.
Parents want their kid’s mental health to be okay as soon as humanly possible. However, things aren’t so clear in the field of mental health, especially in case of children.
A behaviour that may not be normal for adults may actually be normal for children. To know if your kid is mentally ill, you may have to look for symptoms like lethargy, intense emotions, mood swings, behaviour change, and weight change. Though these could be causes for mental illness, they are also normal aspects of child development.
Genuine mental problem may be passed undetected in children. Most adults who went through mental illnesses mentioned that their symptoms started in the early years. However, they weren’t able to realise it until years later because as children they either covered their symptoms, or simply didn’t understand them until they grew older.
Children suffering from anxiety disorders are often good at hiding their condition from others. They are keen on fitting in the crowd, and so they go to great lengths to hide their troubles from the world.
Usually, mentally ill children are aware that they are suffering, or feel that they don’t ‘fit in’, however they won’t realise that the issue is a mental illness, which isn’t their fault. They are usually unable to understand or explain what’s going on in their heads. All these things can leave parents confused and worried.
Is your child’s troubling behaviour a phase that will pass Or is there anything wrong within? How can you identify?
1. Speak To Your Kid
It is very important to speak to your child about their feeling.
Even though they might not be capable of tell you what exactly is wrong, it’s still vital that you get their perspective. At times, the clue isn’t in what your child says, instead it’s in the manner that they say it.
Even though your child may not be mentally ill, you may find a problem that is making them to act out. Problems in school, for instance. It’s important to note that problems like bullying may have severe long-term mental health effects on the bullied as well as the bully, so it’s vital to speak to your child regarding this kind of thing.
Whether or not your kid is mentally ill, you may observe an issue that is causing them to act out. This could be anything like problems at school or issues with friends. It’s important to note that issues like bullying could have severe mental health effects on both the bullied and the bully. Hence, it’s essential to speak to your child about such issues.
2. Speak To People Whom Your Child Interacts With
Talk to those who stay around your child, particularly people in their school or nursery. Teachers and the staff in the school will know your child well, and because of their profession they may have A lot of knowledge on child development.
3. Choose A Child Counsellor Wisely
Selecting a child therapist can be confusing. However, if you follow these general guidelines when looking for a good counsellor, you won’t find the task to be daunting.
4.Target The Therapeutic Relationship
There are plenty of therapeutic approaches like CBT, DBT, and psychoanalytic. It’s easy to get distracted by various complex theories. But, the truth about counselling is that it is actually quite straightforward and simple. The most important factor to consider when choosing child therapist is their capability to build a connection they form with your child.
Hence, when you choose a therapist for your child, don’t get caught up in the theoretical detail of counselling approaches. Remember, most counsellors are going to be trained in most of the counselling approaches. Your child will benefit from the therapy only if they get along well with their counsellor.
So, try to find someone with whom your child feels comfortable to talk to. Most counsellors provide an initial trial session, during which you can determine if your child is comfortable with them or not.
5.Don’t forget yourself!
Parents are always a part of the child counselling sessions specially for younger kids. So, it’s not just essential for your child to build a bond with the counsellor, but also for you. You need to be comfortable with the therapist, just like your child.
6. Be Supportive
Once you find a counsellor for your child, you have got to be positive about the procedure. The therapeutic journey isn’t easy for anyone. The child may face difficulties initially, but it is important for parents to continue the therapy to ensure the child gains long-term benefits from it. Parents need to be supportive and encouraging throughout the journey.
Most importantly, it is essential for the parents to not lose hope. There are many recognized counsellors who have helped many children to overcome their mental health difficulties. Parents need to believe that their counsellor will be able to help the child.