By Kaleigh Nobbe, Clinical Intern
Yes, growing up is hard and we all remember the challenges we faced. So why can’t today’s kids seem to figure it out like we did? Truthfully, because it isn’t the same. There may be many commonalities, but we are different people, interacting with the changed world in different ways. For example, it isn’t so pleasant when a family member dies and a friend says, “I know what you’re going through.” We may think “NO! You don’t because you had (insert different relationship) with your family.” The experience is invalidating. It is also really easy to forget when we are agitated by a kid’s inability to see beyond the situation.
What does this have to do with parents attending therapy?
- Practice makes progress! Though counselors can teach skills and encourage the use of them in everyday life, parents are essential in supporting their child the remaining days of the week when the child gets the opportunity to test the skills.
- Children need role models. They watch their parents, mimic how they act, and listen to what they say. When a counselor is able to help parents understand how and why their interactions with kids can help shift the child’s behavior, we become a united front that provides consistent opportunities to guide us toward success.
- Communication can almost always improve. As humans, children and parents tend to seek social connection which begins in the family. However, sometimes the best intentions still leave people feeling invisible, overlooked, or plain unrecognized. It is a far from easy task for many adults to share how they want to experience love and children are still growing their vocabulary too. Learning how family members communicate and share their love can help upgrade how everyone interacts.
- When a parent also receives mental health services, they can remove their “stuff” from their kid’s. It can be challenging to separate who may be initiating vs. reacting in any given situation. It’s easier to say that it’s the other person’s problem and walk away, but there may be a lasting effect that influences how you think, feel or behave next time you make contact with your child. Having your own therapist to help process those reactions can assist in removing them from the equation and having a more stable interaction next time the kid’s behavior presents.
To learn more about getting involved with your child’s therapist, click here.
To explore how counseling may benefit parenting, click here.
Reach out to Owens & Associates at (847)854-4333 for a free 15-minute consultation.