This is a very common and appropriate question that parents ask me when scheduling the first session for their child. They might state concerns such as “I don’t want him/her to feel like something is wrong with him/her.” While this is understandable, therapy is usually a lot more anxiety-producing for parents than it is for their child. In fact, most children who come to see me appear relieved to be in my office, and quickly understand my role in helping him/her/their family feel better about whatever it is they are struggling with. Nonetheless, at times children and teens may resist therapy, and these suggestions for how to talk to children about starting therapy can be helpful:
Welcome to Our Blog!
This blog is written by the clinicians at Jonah Green and Associates, a mental health practice based in Kensington, MD that provides quality services for children, teens, families, and adults. It is intended as a resource for families who are seeking to expand their knowledge about mental health and mental health services, and also as a resource for families who are seeking quality mental health services, especially in the mid-Atlantic region. Please feel free to post questions and comments on any of the entries as well as on any topics or articles from our companion web site www.childandfamilymentalhealth.com.
It’s midnight on a Tuesday and your child is up in her room sending silly Snapchats to her friends. You can see her bedroom light is off but the bright light from her cell phone is shining from her bed. You’ve told her twice that it is time to put away social media and go to bed. You finally get a response: “C’mon! Just one more minute!” (Sigh.) Standing outside her room, you reflect on the child you saw this morning, overtired and sleep deprived of doing the same thing the night before. What is there to do?
Many parents become undone when a child lies to them. Projecting in the future, parents fear that deceit will become habitual and last into adulthood. Yet kids lie for many different reasons. Some kinds of dishonesty are developmentally normal, and call for a measured response. It helps to understand the reason a child is lying in order to come up with an appropriate way to encourage their moral development.
I think we have all heard it before. A teen says, “My parents don’t get me.” A spouse says, “I wish you would just listen and stop trying to fix things.” It feels like there is a block in communication and nothing ever changes. If you are feeling frustrated and stuck, utilizing validation in your communication with family members can get the ball rolling in a more positive direction. [Read more…]
It’s 11 pm and the homework battle soldiers on. You’re standing in the door frame, trying to convince your 13 year old daughter that it’s time for bed. She has spent the last 6 hours preparing for her science test and the best thing she can do now is rest, but she won’t close the books. Your sweet, stressed, bleary eyed girl is positive that if she sleeps all will be lost and her quarter grades will be unrecoverable. Sound familiar?