There is no worse feeling in this world than the realization that you have failed as a parent. And no matter what we tell ourselves, we cannot help shake off this feeling that we are responsible for how our kids act and behave. It is true. When we suddenly find our kids needing therapy because of their problems in school and at home, we cannot help but feel guilty. It’s a normal reaction. What’s not normal is feeling shame. You shouldn’t feel ashamed about your kids needing professional help. Plenty of families go to counseling and therapy.
Have you ever been to counseling yourself? Have you and your partner faced a marriage counselor? These sessions intend to help people understand why they are acting the way they are acting. It seeks to point out the root causes of why there seems to be so much pain in your life. Do you want your kids to live through with these thoughts and feelings? Of course, not. And that’s why you need to be as supportive as you can about their struggles. You have to prepare them for these sessions and promise to be there for them if they need you.
Find a Great Therapist
The only way for your kids to open up to a counselor is if they are comfortable with them. Find a good therapist for your kids. Include them in the process of searching for a therapist. Talk to people who are familiar with this type of situation. They can recommend a therapist or counselor who did great wonders with their own kids.
Discuss the Process
Discuss with your kids why it matters for them to attend the therapy session. They need to understand that these sessions are intended to help them, and not shame them. They should also realize that they shouldn’t be ashamed of seeking professional help for their problems. Try to explain to them what they can expect during the sessions. It would be nice if the therapist can brief the kids about what will happen on the first day and the succeeding sessions after that.
Take Your Kids to Their Sessions
If possible, take a break from work. Ask your boss to consider giving you a flexible time. You can work from home so that you can keep an eye on your kids. You should drive them to the therapist. It might take many visits to the therapist before your kids are comfortable enough to go there on their own.
Spend Time with Your Kids
Give yourself props for noticing that your kids need professional help. However, you have to spend more time with them now to show them your support. Play, cook, read, watch movies, and laugh together. A few minutes each day will do your relationship good. It will also allow you to get to know them better.
Do you remember how you were when you were growing up? As a child, you were so curious about the world around you. As a teenager, you were full of angst and apprehensions. With technology and society the way they are today, imagine how your kids are trying to cope with peer pressure, academic competition, and social media challenges.