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  • Writer's pictureAndrea Lindsay

It's Tough Being a Parent!

Understanding the cause of underlying issues can be tricky, Therapeutic Counselling for Children & Families might be just what you need to help!...

As a parent, we want to keep our children safe and happy.  Sometimes, our children strugge and it can be hard to understand what the problem is, or perhaps we just don't have the tools to resolve the issue.  If your child broke their arm, would you try to splint it yourself?  Of course not!  You'd accept that you child and/or you needed professional help.  Therapeutic Counselling for Children & Families might be just what you need.  It's an approach designed to understand the cause of the underlying issue.  Often, as parents, we deal with the behaviour, but not the underlying cause.  We can have a degree of success by addressing the behaviour, but unless the underlying cause is explored, the chances are the unwanted behaviour and/or emotions will re-emerge!  

I'd like to share a story about a 9 year old little girl who constantly complained of tummy ache.  She cried with pain, she couldn't sleep and used to become hysterical when being dropped off at school sometimes.  Her mother did all the normal things.  Firstly, she looked for a physical cause for the pain.  She took her daughter to the doctor, but no physical reason could be found, but the pain persisted. Next she looked into whether there were educational difficulties or problems with the school environment.  Perhaps her child was struggling with lessons, maybe she had learning difficulties or maybe there were friendship or bullying problems?  The mother made an appointment with school to discuss these possibilities, but there didn't appear to be any obvious problems.  All that was left, was to find out if there were any emotional reasons for the pain.

It took a bit of time, but eventually the mother discovered the problem.  Her daughter was suffering from separation anxiety.  Some years before, the mother and father had divorced, which resulted in the little girl's care being shared between the mother, father and grandparents.  The mother's work required her to work long hours and she sometimes had to stay away.  The mother was the main carer, although the little girl spent a couple of nights a week with her father and if her mother worked away, she would stay with her grandparents.  This all made complete sense to the adults involved and they knew everything was covered!  The little girl's mother used to explain to her every Sunday evening what the plan was for the forthcoming week.  Everything was sorted - wasn't it?  Over time, the little girl became more and more worried about what would happen if she 'lost' her Mummy?  Unable to reconcile this worry, her mind came up with a way communicate this emotional fear, through the form of physical pain.  This all took some considerable time to work out!  In the end, the mother made the decision to make a massive life change to re-train.  She had built a successful career in a large Financial Services company, however she realised that the commitment required to do the job wouldn't enable her to be the mother she wanted and needed to be.  

An update on the story....

The 'little' girl is now 20 years old and successfully studying at University.  The mother did make a massive life change and re-trained to become a successful therapist running her own private practice.  How do I know this?  Because the 'little girl' is my little girl and the mother is me!

Since that time, I have specialised in working with children and have done extensive training in Therapeutic Counselling, particularly in working with children and families.  As well as working in my private practice, I provide counselling servces to the pupils of a local school.  Outside of my 'day job' I am a therapeutic foster carer, working often with children who have been highly traumatised.

Parenting is not an easy job!  So far I have parented 2 birth children, 2 step children and various foster children.  When parenting a child who has difficult behavour or is suffering from extreme anxiety in one form or another, the first step is to understand what is going on in the mind of the child.  Once you can begin to understand what is going on in the mind of your child, you begin to unlock the answers to helping them feel safe and happy!

If you want help with your child, or help with parenting your child, please contact me for advice and support


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