Posts Tagged ‘child communication’

How do I know if my child needs to go to therapy?

June 22nd, 2011

Parents, do you sometimes wonder, does my child need help? Should I take them to therapy? I worry about my child being diagnosed, labeled or medicated.

So here are some signs that your child may be in need of additional support:

  • Your child acts out and become really angry or upset when things don’t go their way, everything is power struggle and it seems like the littlest thing sets them off
  • Your child gets really quiet and disconnected when they feel overwhelmed and stressed out; you’re feeling powerless to help them and you are wondering if they are okay
  • Your child worries about school or friends, they don’t quite “fit  in” socially or you’re worried about their choices and friends, and you’re not sure if it is normal
  • It is a battle to get your child to do homework or chores; you’ve asked them 100′s of times to pick up their things, they just tune you out, and it’s starting to impact your relationship because you find yourself yelling, nagging and complaining
  • Your child gets into arguments at home with you and their siblings and even the littlest things can blow up into a tantrum, or they withdraw into silence and their room
  • You are noticing that they have changed, maybe they’ve begun lying to you or keeping information from you, or things are becoming a power struggle
  • You are concerned that something else may be going on with your child, your child’s teachers or other family members have brought up concerns and you’ve noticed your child struggling and you are worried this may not be normal
  • Your child is anxious, stressed out, overwhelmed, or is having a difficult time coping with loss or changes. You may notice an increase in acting out or withdrawing behaviors as your child attempts to cope

Parents worry that if their child is diagnosed then it may impact their child in the future, such as education and career choices. So what can a concerned parent do?

If your child is having social, developmental, behavioral or relationship problems ask for support from an expert. You can choose to work with a therapist or doctor who provides services and you pay them directly. When you use your medical insurance for therapy or other medical services it is necessary to diagnose your child and their condition must be deemed “medically necessary” for insurance to reimburse you or your health care provider. Meaning, your child will receive a diagnosis to receive support, even if it is typical “adjustment issues”.  If you do not want your child diagnosed talk with your health care provider to see what other options there are to provide your child service without a label.

Here’s when it would be beneficial to receive a diagnosis for your child, when the difficulties they are experiencing are significantly impacting their functioning and a doctor or clinician assesses that medication may be a treatment option, or your child is in need of academic support services that can be covered by the school district if they are evaluated and determined to be in need of these services.

Not sure if your child’s behaviors are normal development or something more?

Seek out assistance from a professional. Based upon your observations and your child’s behaviors (and often times the school’s feedback) a skilled clinician can help you explore support options for your child.

An informed parent is an empowered parent, so ask questions and most of all, “Trust yourself. You know more that you think you do” (The great pediatrician: Dr. Benjamin Spock).

Need some additional help? We do not diagnose your child to give them the support they need. Often when children learn new cognitive and behaviors tools and the parents learn new ways to communicate the problems diminish. We work to rule out if the problems are environmentally based and/or behaviorally based. If additional support is necessary we provide families a comprehensive list of other evaluation options, all while respecting your decisions on how you best choose to support your child.

Click here to schedule a Complimentary Child Support Consultation to learn more>> www.thecreativityqueen.com/schedule

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Help Your Child Communicate :Tips for Positive Communication for Busy Families

June 17th, 2011

Is your family swamped by too many things on the to do list, leaving little time for deep connections with those in your family? Maybe you’ve seen your child become upset and overwhelmed, but you’re so depleted and rushed there is little time to understand what your child is really feeling? If children do not feel heard and validated they will express their feelings in other unhealthy ways, leading to possible behavior and emotional problems. That means your child may have tantrums, act out, shutdown, or meltdown as an attempt to express their needs. Healthy communication is essential in all relationships and these three tips will help your child positively communicate.

So what’s a busy parent to do? STOP, LISTEN, and VALIDATE (kinda like stop, drop and roll).

1. When your child is starting to become upset, they give signals. As a parent you know that they are getting upset, and sometimes you’ve got to go and can’t always attend to what they are feeling. However, if you take a few seconds and STOP you can shift the reactive response that is brewing within your child. It takes more time to try to get your child back on track after they have a meltdown than it does to STOP. Stopping allows you to step into your parenting power so you’re not responding from a reactive frazzled state. Stopping allows your child an opportunity to self-regulate, so they can learn how to get back in control of their behaviors. Stopping allows you to be present, loving, and open to hearing and seeing what’s really happening with your child; so you can help them express their feelings and they learn other ways to communicate, rather than being reactive.

2. When you stop you can be fully present to LISTEN and hear what their needs are. They may need to express thoughts and feelings that are not related to what’s on your agenda. When you model being flexible your child will also learn flexibility. You have to decide what’s important: is it teaching your child a positive way to communicate their needs or is it that they learn how to “jump to it” and be on time so that others are not upset? I know this is a polarized example, but I want you to think about what you are emphasizing as important values for your child. Listening and really hearing your child takes only a few minutes, yet the importance of this leads to health sense of self, learning positive communication skills, and respect (which all parents want their child to learn).

3. VALIDATING means you recognize what your child may be feeling and thinking. It’s not necessary to problem solve for them, tell them what is wrong or bad, or that you don’t condone what they are saying. It just means that you get their point of view and deeply understand their feelings. When kids are being reactive they are operating from FEAR and CONTROL. Validating their feelings allows a child to feel emotionally safer and acts as a re-set button on their feelings. When you give your child your full attention and validate their feelings, they feel understood (which often reduced meltdowns and tantrums).

Here’s a creative activity to help your child through this process. If you notice your child is about to lose control of their feelings ask them to tell you what they are feeling. If they are unable to do so or they are overwhelmed ask them to go to a quite place and make a picture of what that feeling looks like, such as, Can you make a picture of how mad you are? If your child chooses to share the picture with you do not make corrections or tell them they shouldn’t feel that way. Listen to them and validate their feelings.

Model this and your child will have a set of skills that will lead to life long success!

Are you in need of support to help your child manage their behaviors and feelings? We can help! Click here to schedule your Complementary Child Support Consultation>>www.thecreativityqueen.com/schedule

This article has appeared in YourTango

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