For many parents, the idea of taking your child to a counselor can feel uncomfortable, but there are many excellent reasons for it. Counseling isn't just about treating major psychological conditions, and just as often a counselor can help your child work through personal identity and social issues they might not be comfortable discussing with you. It would be nice to imagine a world where children and teenagers share everything about how they're feeling with their parents, but until that world exists you should know all you can about what a counselor can do for your child.

The Struggles of Growing Up

Imagine the challenges you endured as a child, early adolescent and teenager, and consider what might have been different about your life if you'd had someone to confide in. Many children struggle with a variety of issues, from personal insecurities and self-esteem problems to more serious levels of depression or situational anxiety. If they won't open up about it willingly, there are some signs to look out for that will help you decide if visiting a counselor can help your child.

Watch for drastic changes in mood or behavior, as this can be a sign that something is troubling your child. Don't fret over hairstyle changes or minor alterations in their dress, but do take note if their overall demeanor has changed. Pay attention to graded homework, and be aware of drastic changes in performance, especially in subjects or areas that they've previously excelled in.

Building Acceptance

Chances are, if you have a lingering prejudice toward the idea of counseling, your child will be resistant too.  Remember though, it's not a commentary on their mental state or their intellect, but an acknowledgement that talking helps. 

There's nothing wrong with a person simply because they see a counselor, and many kids do. This may relate to a recent divorce in the family, challenging personal relationships with peers, or struggles with identifying their own self-worth. It can help to identify with these circumstances yourself and to acknowledge the benefit you could have gained if you'd had access to a counselor at the time.

Some kids do tell their parents everything, but the reality for the rest of us is quite different. If your child seems to be holding something back, it can often be in their best interest to have an impartial outsider to share their fears with. Contact a professional counselor, like those at Meiers Gary J Hammond/Meiers J A & Associates Ltd child counseling, for more information on counseling for your child.