“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children. One of these is roots, the other wings.” –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Have you noticed sudden changes in your son or daughter’s behavior, moods, grades or friendships that make you think he or she might be struggling in school, experiencing social anxiety or having difficulties dealing with disruptions at home? Are you concerned that your teenager might be showing signs of an eating disorder, using drugs, abusing alcohol or engaging in self-harm? Do you wish you could do something meaningful to help your children feel happier, calmer and more confident as they progress through these critical developmental stages?
We’d all like to think that childhood is a time of innocence and fun, devoid of stress, worry and heartache. Sadly, that’s not the reality for the one in five children and adolescents who contend with an identifiable psychological disorder that requires treatment or the one in ten who suffer from a severe emotional disturbance.
It’s not always easy to figure out why our kids suddenly become withdrawn, worried, stressed, sulky or tearful. It can come as a terrible shock to discover that our son or daughter is abusing alcohol or drugs or thinking about suicide. Symptoms like these are urgent signals that we can’t ignore. Here are some additional signs that your child may need counseling:
- Persistent feelings of sadness or hopelessness
- Constant anger and a tendency to overreact to situations
- Persistent worry, anxiety or fearfulness
- Preoccupation with physical illness or their own appearance
- A sudden, unexplained drop in grades
- A loss of interest in activities that were once enjoyed
- Changes in patterns of sleeping or eating
- Reclusiveness (a preference to be alone rather than in the company of friends or family)
- An inability to concentrate, think clearly or make decisions
- Extreme restlessness and an inability to sit still
- A compulsion to repeatedly wash their hands, count objects or perform other ritualized tasks
- Dieting obsessively or binging followed by vomiting or taking laxatives
As a therapist with almost 30 years of marriage, parenting and leadership experience, I have a deep and practical understanding of the challenges you and your child are facing. In addition to raising two kids of my own, I’ve worked as a school counselor at an elementary and middle school, helping kids in crisis, supporting their families and leading peer group sessions focused on such common issues as bullying, drugs, body image, teen sexuality and more.
Help Your Child Develop Confidence and Life Skills
If you’d like to discuss the challenges that come with being a good parent or have specific concerns about your child or adolescent, please call me at (602) 399-7871 or contact me here to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation. For those with busy schedules, I offer flexible appointment times that include some night and weekend hours.