Just like you, children and teens experience a range of emotions: joy, frustration, anger, grief, sadness, insecurity and more. The environment surrounding the child has an impact on these emotions: parent’s fighting, separation and/or divorce, loss of a loved one, bullying or school issues, dating, peer issues and so on. Unlike adults, kids often lack the basic coping skills and emotional vocabulary necessary to deal with these challenges in a healthy manner.
Due to their lack of coping skills, children often use acting out behaviors instead of words to express what they are feeling. Depending upon the age of the child, behaviors you might see are:
- sibling and peer conflict
- skipping school
- high conflict with parents
- withdrawal from friends and family
- extreme moodiness
- new or increased fears or feelings of anxiousness
- drug use and or criminal activity (or negative peer group)
- running away
- suicidal ideation or self-harming behaviors
At every age children need to know that they are seen and heard and that their feelings are valid. It can be hard for parents to know exactly what to say or do when emotions are raw and tension is high.
We are here to help children learn the tools they need in order to navigate life’s challenges, express themselves in healthy ways and gain the necessary self-confidence and self-esteem.
Our staff is skilled in working with “hard to reach” youth that may take a bit longer to warm up to the idea of counseling. We create a safe space for your child to work through their difficulties and rebuild on their relationships.
Family counseling is often incorporated in individual treatment- when the child feels ready and rapport between clinician and client has been firmly established. Depending on the child, this could take weeks to months to develop a safe enough place where family sessions can occur. Know that it is our goal to help you resolve tension and improve communication so you can feel connected with your child again.
Let us help you get your child or teen get back on the path to a fulfilling and happy life!
Here at Suffolk Family Therapy, we truly feel that family involvement in the counseling of children and teens is essential. Often time’s poor communication patterns, past hurts and lack of trust can keep a family feeling stuck and hopeless.
If you’re having problems as a family, whatever’s causing them, Family Counseling may be able to help the whole family learn to communicate better, cope with stress and resolve differences.
If your family is having a difficult time and your feeling disconnected now is the time to call and reach out for a free consult. Let us help get you back on track today!