In Understanding Children’s Needs in the Blended Family I wrote how separation, divorce and starting a blended family can and will affect every child involved. Some of the effects may require professional intervention to address. Guest author, Kendra Wilmington writes about when a parent should seek psychological counseling.
Raising children is always challenging, and it can be even more so with today’s busy schedules and outside influences. Parents work hard to find ways to interact with their children effectively, but often they need help to undo incorrect thought or behavior patterns that can threaten normal development. Parents having an understanding when they should seek psychological counseling for their children can provide them with the solutions they need.
Angry outburst, uncontrolled tantrums and talking back are some of the chief problems parents report about their children. These outbursts can cause disruptions in the home and suspensions from school.
A child with anger problems needs intensive therapy to determine the fundamental problems causing the anger, as well as help learning skills to both recognize and deal with their emotions. Psychology can help to relieve these symptoms and give children the behavior management tools they can use for a lifetime.
Children often have a different way of exhibiting the signs of depression than adults do. Generally, adults feel “blue” and lose interest in activities. Children may show irritability, frequent crying, a feeling of hopelessness, fatigue, low energy, changes in appetite, hypersensitivity to rejection, problems with concentration, poor performance in school and vague physical complaints.
The child may experience feelings of guilt and low self-esteem. They may isolate themselves socially or have difficulty maintaining relationships. Children may even entertain thoughts of suicide, though few actually act out. Psychologists can inform parents of these different behaviors by using social media and the other technology so they can assess their children’s reactions and get help when necessary.
Children often develop a variety of anxiety reactions because of their undeveloped nervous systems. They have not yet learned many of the skills needed to filter out sensory input and the “self-talk” adults use to soothe themselves in stressful situations. Separation anxiety is common in these children. They may develop phobias about school or be overly clingy toward parents. They may have nightmares or other problems sleeping.
They may develop physical problems due to their anxiety. They may also develop obsessive thoughts or compulsive behaviors to deal with their anxiety. They often anticipate problems in advance and build them up to overwhelming size. A counselor trained in psychology can help these children to manage their reactions to lead more comfortable and effective lives.
Psychology can also help children with learning disabilities affecting their school performance and self-esteem. These problems may include problems in communications, such as understanding or forming words. The problem may be with recognizing written words or writing the words. It can include difficulty controlling crayons or writing instruments.
It can also include difficulty understanding basic math concepts or problems following sequences. The psychologist can help to identify the problem and recommend an educational program to maximize abilities and assist with difficulties. They can also help to treatment the self-image problems that these difficulties often cause.
Older children and teens may have such severe problems dealing with emotions and daily stress that they begin to engage in substance abuse.
Alcohol, prescription pills, marijuana and “huffing” substances can signal that the child is having difficulties dealing with personal issues, and psychological help is required.
Kendra Wilmington knows the effects a psychologist can have on a child. It is always important to know the signs and symptoms of when a child might need to see a psychologist and get the help they need. When recommending a child psychologist in Toronto, she trusts the trained professionals at Toronto Psychological Services to help children get the guidance they need. To learn more, visit their website today.