The word “child” can take on many different meanings, but for the purposes of child therapy, “children” are those who fall into the categories of infancy, early childhood, and preschool-aged; school-aged; adolescence; and young adulthood. Children in all of these stages go through different challenges, have different developmental needs and levels of understandings, and different ways of communicating and overcoming their struggles. Based on what they see around them, the problem-solving solutions they see as effective, the actions of their role models, their internal struggles, and their sources of open communication, children of any age are liable to commit the actions and words of others to memory.
Children are highly impressionable, which means that they pick and choose what sticks, and they decide what will affect them, and how deeply, whether intentionally or not. Children’s therapy can be a beneficial resource for children of all ages for this reason, as child therapy provides an opportunity for open communication and a means of understanding what has affected your child and how their actions are then influenced, in turn.
Understanding Youth Development
Children go through different stages of development, which can be translated into different trials and errors. As children develop into young adults, they are shaped by what they see around them, what they experience, their social expectations, their family dynamics, and countless factors that are constantly changing. Because children’s minds are changing and growing along with everything else around them, they notice different things at different times, find different things important at different stages of their lives, and are deeply impacted by some things that would be meaningless at another time. No matter how complex childhood and youth development can be, however, helping children communicate and work through their struggles can be made simpler with the help of a child counselor. At The International Center for the Attainment of Love and Joy, we’re here to help you youth gain a better understanding of themselves, find internal peace and happiness, and confront any challenges they may be facing from any area of their lives, from school, to friends, to family, and everything in between.
Addressing Common Childhood Challenges
Although every child is different, every child has different experiences and is shaped in a different mold, and every child needs different amounts and forms of help overcoming challenges and moving forward, there are some common challenges that affect many children in similar ways. These challenges can put children at risk for volatile behavior and may impact children’s mental wellness now and in the future, no matter your child’s age. If your child has gone through any dramatic changes in life or overcome any trying obstacles that could have left strain and emotional turmoil, make sure that your child has someone they feel comfortable talking to.
Common Life Changes that Impact Youth
Common life changes that can negatively (or positively) impact your child’s development or behavior include:
Divorce and separations – No matter when you and your spouse divorce or separate, the change can be difficult for your youth for any number of reasons, including visitation schedules, changes in living situations, and the strain placed on relationships with parents.
Moving to a new home – Moving, a decision parents tend to make without their children, is often seen as a negative change to children who lose friends, teachers, and favorite spots they’ve come to depend upon. Help make sure your child sees the positive impacts of your family’s move.
Taking on new responsibilities – As children get older, we tend to expect them to naturally shoulder some extra responsibilities, but it doesn’t come so naturally to all children. Unspoken expectations or unwanted responsibilities can create a strain in your relationship with your child.
New siblings – Whether it’s a sibling who’s just been born, step siblings, or adoptive siblings, getting used to new family members can take some adjusting.
Negative Impacts on Youth Development
Some challenges that can negatively impact your child’s development or behavior include, and leave your child with lasting emotional turmoil, include:
Bullying – If your child is being bullied, or is participating in bullying, they can find themselves in a confusing and unwelcome position.
Financial hardship – Facing financial hardship at home is difficult for young children to understand, and it’s difficult for older children to cope with, given the social expectations of adolescence and the need to feel useful within the family but maintain independence.
Violence or sexual abuse – Violence and abuse of any kind can create traumatic memories for youth, and even when these negative experiences are over, children often have to come to terms with these realities before they are able to move on.
Deaths – Deaths can negatively impact anyone, and helping your youth cope with the death of a loved one is an important part of helping them grow and create their own coping mechanisms for grief.
To schedule an appointment with our youth psychologist, contact us today at 763-572-2326 or toll-free at 877-572-2326, or send an email to .