I have spent the last 8 years working with children, teens and adolescents. I love working with these groups because there is so much opportunity for them to become fully functional caring loving adults. As a parent, you cannot see your role as lesser or diminished because you make lunches, pour cereal, or change diapers. You will never do anything more important with your life than taking on the role of mother or father. Shepherding, guiding a child's heart is hard, messy, exhausting, painful and rewarding.
I will often get the question, "Does my kid need counseling?" This is a question that has to be answered on a case by case basis. I have found that when parents receive coaching and support that changes how they parent and ultimately their child doesn't need counseling. When a parent can consider the ways in which they talk with their kid, play with them, provide them attention, that trickles down to their child and will either have a negative or positive effect.
As a child therapist, I look to identify challenging behaviors and what needs they are meeting. A child doesn't just act out for simply no reason; there are reasons but we just don't know them yet. The mistake that parents will make is assume their child is being manipulative and defiant or that they as parents had nothing to do with the influence of "bad" behavior. Another mistake parents will make is become too punitive, this reinforcing their child's challenging behavior.
Being a parent is never fluid or formulaic. That being said, below I've outlined four areas that I think are necessary for all parents to consider when interacting with their child, adolescent or teen, regardless of bad or good behavior.
1. Be Consistent-make sure your kids hear the same message over and over again when they show challenging behavior. More consistency, means more change.
2. Be Reasonable-Kids can often sense when they are defeated and there is no chance for redemption. Set boundaries for challenging behavior, give opportunities to earn back privileges.
3. Be Encouraging-Give lots of verbal praise when your kid does something good and when they choose not to do something bad.
4. Be Forgiving-It is important as parents/caregivers to not revisit your child's history of making mistakes. Forgive, by doing this you set a precedent and help your child create a healthy personality.
I would encourage any parent, person or couple that is thinking about becoming a parent to read up on being a loving positive influence in their child's life. A good place to start is, "Parenting with love and logic". This book will provide language and new parenting concepts to consider. Finally, be willing to put yourself under the microscope for the sake of your children.
CONNECT WITH US
SEARCH THIS BLOG
CONNECT WITH US
REQUEST AN APPOINTMENT
14233 Ambaum Blvd. SW #R
Burien, WA 98166
All rights reserved copyright 2016 Burien Counseling