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.
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.
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?
Learning to help children deal with life’s challenging emotions can be difficult, especially when those feelings lead to behavioral meltdowns. Below are five tips for helping parents understand the emotional reactions of their children, and for working together through difficult times to make even the toughest of feelings more manageable. Keeping these tools in mind will assist you as you build the foundation for both coping and emotion regulation to strengthen your child’s skills throughout their lifetime. We have even included a few “bonus pointers” for parents as you navigate the storms!
All families who come into my office, no matter what their particular issues are, all share one common characteristic; their family system is experiencing stress. In addition, most families have not been able to sit down together and effectively address each other’s concerns. Indeed, few families do; while it is common in many settings for people to meet together to solve problems (volunteer organizations, work, etc.), few families regularly set aside time to address concerns. As weeks fly by in a rush of work schedules, carpools, and sports practices, problems can often build up. Making time for family meetings can help families focus on improving the family atmosphere and family relationships, and head off problems before they build up. Here are some ideas for making meetings work: