Here’s why your kid may need counselling

Written by Nivedita Garg
Published: November 28, 2022
Founder of Joyful Parenting, NLP practisioner, YALE, Harvard & UC San Diego certified personal coach with over 10 Years of experience in helping individuals beat stress and lead joyful lives

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In today’s world, there is so much competition, jealousy, and envy between children, things you probably can’t even imagine as parents. Children are going through a lot emotionally, and they feel alone, unheard and lost. As parents, you probably feel this is just a part of growing up. But please understand, to you, it’s not a big deal, but to your children it most definitely is. 

Some daily scenarios like outbursts, tantrums and anger are normal for kids to experience. As parents, you have nothing to worry about. When children express their feelings, sometimes they aren’t just venting out their emotions, but they behave differently as well. As parents, it’s important to understand the sub-lying context. 

What not to do

When the child is not behaving reasonably, before you know it, you holler from the top of your lungs. But you are not alone in doing that, and your feelings of parental frustration are normal. However, even children are going through a lot. Some circumstances push your child’s buttons, and as parents, it’s important to know when this button has been pushed.  

At home, there may be many times you have explained something to your child, but they just do not listen. As parents, you feel overwhelmed or angry, which makes you raise your voice. But stop to think that this behaviour rarely solves the situation. It may quiet the children and make them obedient for a short while, but it won’t correct their attitude or solve problems.

What to do

At this point, it is important to contact child coaches or counsellors so their problems can be addressed. 

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When you must take expert’s help? 

  1. When there is a lot of YELLING. When you are not able to have reasonable conversations, that means something’s off. Because children tend to listen when they see the logic in it. However, when there is unexplained fighting or argument, it means the child is emotionally troubled. 
  1. When you feel your child is ANXIOUS AT NIGHT. You can be sure of this when your child finds excuses to sleep at night. For instance “it’s too quiet”, “I think I might be sick”, “ what if I’m up all night and can’t sleep at all?”, “it’s too hot/cold”, “my work is pending “, “ let me watch something “. These are excuses their brains are making because they are emotionally disturbed, and are scared to sleep. A sense of fear envelopes them and they are unaware of it. There could be shifts in their sleep pattern, wherein increased or decreased sleep is a point of concern.
  1. When they spend more time FOCUSING ON OTHERS FLAWS rather than their inward growth. This behaviour shows the feeling of jealousy and envy where the sense of self-esteem is low. This happens when children are not comfortable in their own skin and have issues with their own image. Gossiping becomes a normal part of their routine. They don’t speak to themselves with the kindness they speak to others and are always sceptical about themselves. This could be highly damaging to their character and need immediate attention. 
  1. When they only want to find EXCUSES rather than solutions in situations. They have a victim attitude and this becomes part of who they are. They tend to just leave things incomplete and don’t want to take responsibility. They even feel what the other person is doing is always wrong, yet do not want to do the task themselves. 
  1. SOCIAL ISOLATION is a sign of a troubled child. The child will avoid meeting friends and family wanting to be alone and would lack the desire to step out of the house or their comfort zone. 
  1. If your child WORRIES A LOT MORE THAN USUAL, it shows that they are overthinking or are in doubt. Such children are not confident about situations and lack the ability to face situations. Children often burn out emotionally because their batteries are drained all the time.
  1. If you notice a SUDDEN SHIFT IN ATTITUDE or notice them not being themselves. If their behaviour seems odd to you, this shows they are troubled. Maybe they are undergoing a situation and do not know how to handle it and hence they regress. They could have a loss or a sudden increase in appetite.
  1. When children experience DARK THOUGHTS that have a risk to hamper them as individuals, it’s important to speak to an expert. When they repeatedly blackmail or threaten to physically hurt themselves, it’s time to seek some professional help.
  1. When they are constantly COMPLAINING ABOUT HEALTH ISSUES. This shows that they are emotionally troubled and are reflecting on their bodies. For no good reason, they are feeling unwell. It means there is an underlying context to this which needs to be heard. When they use terms like depression in their day-to-day activities, they are in fact crying out for help. 
  1. Follow your PARENTAL INSTINCT. As parents, you know best for your child. You will get to know when things will go out of hand. Just follow that inner voice. If you feel this is something that needs the help of an expert, feel free to approach them. This is only going to help your child to get better faster. 

Get your child the help they need

You can contact the caregivers of your children, like teachers to understand more about their behaviour in school. This will help you confirm if something is genuinely troubling your child’s mental health. If this is the case then contact experts and coaches on mental health and lead this journey with dignity for your child and yourself. You have to accept that if your child is troubled, then they need more care and attention from you. Coaching helps build confidence and resilience. Once children become confident and overcome their struggles and weaknesses, they will have the competence to deal with all types of situations in life. This will allow them to recover faster from setbacks, thereby getting back on their feet quicker. 

Look out for the non verbal cues which children display. This will help you decide if they are making progress with the coaching and help you understand your child’s true emotional status.

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The views expressed are that of the expert alone.

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