Does My Child Need Counseling?

Does My Child Need Counseling?

When a child is having difficulty managing their emotions or their behaviors, parents sometimes wonder if their child needs counseling. Would their child benefit from seeing a professional? Are their tantrums typical for their age? Do they worry more than other children? Is their attention too short or about right for their age? Asking yourself the following questions can help you decide if your child might benefit from counseling.

1.     Are my child’s behaviors or strong feelings getting in the way of their day to day life? Does my child avoid activities or curtail their participation?  Do you as the parent avoid taking them into the community because of the fuss or because you’re embarrassed? Does their behavior make it hard for them to make or keep friends? Are problems rare or frequent?

2.     Does your child seem significantly different from peers? Is your child’s behavior or ability to manage their emotions very different from same age cousins or friends? Watch other children at daycare, preschool, school events, or community activities. Are you seeing the problems that worry you in the other children too? At the same frequency and intensity?

3.     Do other adults whom you trust and respect suggest that ‘something is going on’ with your child? Do teachers, babysitters, relatives, or friends wonder about your child’s behavior? Do they make suggestions about what you could be doing differently? Do they suggest checking with your pediatrician or seeing a psychologist?

4.     Are you worried about your child? Trust your instincts. You know your child better than anyone else. If you are worried, it makes sense to see a professional for consultation. There is little downside to talking with a professional, either your pediatrician or a psychologist or counselor. Consultation does not commit you to any action or any particular course of treatment. Consultation does provide an opportunity for you to share your concerns and have your questions answered. Perhaps your worries will be evaluated as minor and you can be reassured that your child is doing fine, perhaps with some age typical issues. If your worries reflect problems that deserve further attention, you can plan a course of treatment and know that you are providing the help your child needs.



Blog Disclaimer:  Please be aware that this blog contains general information. It is intended for educational purposes only. It is not intended as treatment or a recommendation or prescription for a particular child. If you have questions about your child, please talk to your pediatrician or seek other professional services.