Parenting Thoughts for Child Counselling
What are some points that are important to be mindful of prior to sending your child to therapy with a child counsellor or similar? While you are reading this, you may find at times you start to feel a little defensive and that’s okay, we will walk through this together.
As a counsellor that specialises in working with children, parenting styles have a massive influence on a child’s wellbeing. They also influence emotional regulation, ability to problem solve, self-esteem, confidence and many more. Given this influence, it highlights the importance of your perspective of viewing this therapeutic journey as ‘parents as partners’.
A Parent’s Journey Too
An important note to be mindful of is that sending your child to counselling does not mean it’s solely your child’s journey, it is also yours. Parents often send their children to therapy in hopes to see a positive change in behaviour, anxiety, depression or self-esteem to name a few. However, although it can be sometimes challenging, it’s important to put your own ego and pride to the side and be mindful that it is unrealistic to think therapy can be as effective as what it can be if there is an expectation that the child is the only one that needs to change and put effort in, as the parent does also. This is a good time to reflect upon yourself, what stage of change you are in (pre-contemplation, contemplation, preparation, action, maintenance), not just your child.
As a part of the child counselling partnership, a good couple of questions to ask yourself that can create awareness of your own perspective is;
- Am I ready to process what has brought my child to therapy?
- Am I ready for the work, effort and changes?
- Am I ready to take on accountability for my own influence and choices?
Reflecting on these questions can be hard and confronting, maybe even triggering. A good reminder to say to yourself is to be kind and that no one is perfect in this world.
How can I use this?
A useful analogy is, if you go to the gym and have a personal trainer, the personal trainer is guiding you through the fitness journey. They are showing you how to do the exercises properly so you do not injure yourself, and guide you to accomplishing your goals. But it is up to you to put in the effort, what goals you set and your perspective. Similarly, a therapist will walk on the emotional journey alongside you, guide you through implementing strategies and tools to reach your desired goals, but it is up to you if you put them into action, the effort you put in and your perspective.
Remember this is a journey on your child’s timeline- not yours, consistency is key, be mindful that each step big or small is progress and be kind to yourself- we are on this child counselling journey together.
Author: Larissa Watter, BA Counselling.
Larissa Watter is a Brisbane counsellor, passionate about working with children. She is currently furthering her studies by undertaking a Certificate in Child-Centred Play Therapy.
To make an appointment with Larissa Watter try Online Booking. Alternatively, you can call M1 Psychology Loganholme on (07) 3067 9129 or Vision Psychology Wishart on (07) 3088 5422.