Children often face life events or circumstances that cause them to show signs of emotional distress. Just like adults, they may withdraw, “act out” with unacceptable behavior, worry, cry, or go through mood swings. Often, it is unclear to adults what may have caused a child to suddenly begin to exhibit emotional or behavioral difficulties. Children have limited insight and are often unable to identify their feelings or triggers.
Many children struggle with challenges at school including classwork/homework stress, test anxiety, bullying, difficulty making/keeping friends, or peer pressure. Others may need help discussing and processing their feelings about family stressors such as divorce, major transitions, sibling conflict, serious illness, or grief and loss. Children who experience trauma or other forms of stress may begin to exhibit problems with behavior, mood, sleep, appetite, and academic or social functioning.
If you feel your child might have an emotional or behavioral problem, or needs help coping with a difficult life event, trust your instincts and consider seeking help. Therapy may help your child communicate more successfully with you and others; develop problem-solving skills; and learn positive coping strategies. In therapy, your child can learn how to seek help appropriately rather than through negative attention. Therapists may use a variety of techniques in addition to talk therapy including play, journaling, games, and art activities to help children with their concerns.
Therapists can also offer parenting techniques and ideas to help you deal with your child’s behavior challenges. We can work with you and your child to help improve the parent-child relationship through better communication and better understanding of one another’s experience.