“When is it beyond my control and ability to help my children cope?”
When we see our children and teens struggling, our first instinct is to jump in and do anything that we can to help or fix the situation. You try everything that you can think of including: talking to family, talking to friends, consulting with the school, pediatricians, etc.
Yet, you are still up at night due to the sadness of your inability to help your child. You are still frustrated with their risk-taking, lack of respect, and changes you have seen in their personality and academics.
As parents, we want our kids to be successful, thrive, and most importantly be happy in whatever they pursue.
That is where I come in. As a neutral party with extensive training specifically in helping children, tweens and teens, I provide an outlet with no agenda other than helping your child thrive.
Therapy is about change. Counseling children and teens is no different other than they are going through a very challenging transition in their lives.
Often when I receive calls from parents, they normally start the conversation with how their child/tween/teen is a good kid and they normally get really good grades, however something has recently changed. Their child is suddenly acting out, engaging in risky behaviors, back talking, having mood swings, constantly worrying, or withdrawing.
These parents have reached a tipping point. They are scared, confused, worried, and at their wits’ end as they have tried to handle the situation on their own.
Through many conversations with parents in this situation, I have come to realize that the parents’ concerns about their children are keeping them awake at night as they rack their brains on how to help their kids.
Are any of these questions familiar?
- Do we need to set better limits?
- Do we have to take things away?
- Do we need to show them more attention?
- Do we have to show them tough love?
In general, parenting is hard.
However, add in a child or a teen struggling with transitions or challenges, and the tasks of parenting becomes exponentially more difficult. Frustration sets in and the normal reaction is to match emotions, which tends to result in a screaming match.
I think it is safe to say that as parents we all want our children to be happy.
However, beyond even just being happy, we want our children to be successful, be passionate and ultimately to thrive.
In order to make this happen, we need to set them up for success, which involves giving them the skills and tools to succeed.
I graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology with a minor in the Interdisciplinary Study of the Psychology of Crime and Justice (2006). I went on to graduate from The Chicago School of Professional Psychology earning my Master of Arts in Forensic Psychology (2008). I have a strong passion for teaching youth the social and emotional skills needed to successfully navigate the challenges of childhood and adolescence. I have worked with youth and their families involved in the Juvenile Justice System, and the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. I also am privileged to be a certified SPARCS Clinician and have extensive experience working with the adolescent trauma population, as well as high risk and mentally ill youth.