This week on the blog we are discussing the importance of a parent’s role in their child’s counseling. So often, children do not receive the help that they need—not because their parents don’t care, but because their parents may not understand the ways they are sabotaging counseling. This week we hope to provide tips and encouragement so that all children and adolescents get the help that they need.
Parents ignore their child’s needs
So many parents I encounter appear to be in denial about their children’s needs. Parents may see the red flags with their children’s behavior or mood, but minimize the problems or the cause. Some parents ignore children’s cries for help because it’s too painful for them as a parent.
It’s really easy with teenagers to just dismiss their problems as “being a teenager”. I once met with a teen whose mother described her as a “normal moody teen”. Once we met for a few sessions, I realized that the teen was severely depressed and contemplating suicide! This went way beyond the typical teenage struggles.
If your child asks to talk to someone or requests to go the counseling, please listen to them. Don’t invalidate their feelings or brush them off. Children and teens can have real issues (bullying, abuse, mental illness, etc.) at a really young age. If they ask to see a professional, please listen, validate, and find someone sooner rather than later.
Come back tomorrow as we discuss more ways that parents sabotage their children’s counseling.
Written by guest author Christy Fogg, MSW, LCSW
Christy is a licensed therapist at Journey to Joy Counseling in Carmel, Indiana. She specializes in Individual Counseling, Couples/Marriage Counseling, Premarital Counseling, Family Counseling, and Teen/Adolescent Counseling.