Tracy King: First, Help Kids Understand
Mar 11, 2011 02:57PM
First, says Tracy King of Healing Steps, it’s most important to help children understand their behavioral and emotional issues, and why they act as they do. “Most of these children deal with daily negative feedback from family, friends, and schools, which can have a very significant and long-lasting impact on their sense of self and developing self image. They need help to see that they are so much more than their struggles,” says Tracy.
That’s why it’s so important for parents not to lose hope. “Don’t let anger, frustration or despair color your feelings or relationship with your child,” she suggests. “Often you have to experience many trials and tribulations before you find the right solutions . Look at past treatment failures as stepping stones toward more positive solid ground.”
Tracy adds, “Parents almost always underestimate the impact their own feelings have on their children’s functioning. Most parents believe they are good at hiding their feelings, and overestimate their ability to put on a front for their children. Deal with your feelings directly, professionally. You can alter the outcome of treatment and your child’s life immeasurably.”
Assess a diagnosis carefully
There’s a caveat: “Be careful about latching onto or accepting any diagnosis as the definitive truth. Even when assessments and evaluations support certain symptom patterns, it is critical to always be assessing the needs of your child in the here and now.”
Parents can act proactively by addressing developmental concerns early. “Often it’s hard to admit there’s a problem, and we hope that the child will outgrow a difficult phase. But don’t lose valuable time,” she says. “A child’s strong foundation is based on a number of things: his or her self-awareness and self-acceptance, validation and understanding from parents and, most critically, consistent support.”
Explore many treatment options
Despite a lack of comprehensive treatment support networks in many areas, there are many excellent clinicians and resources tucked away in different locations. Tracy King suggests exploring all avenues. In addition to the more traditional medical treatments this would include nutritional interventions, social skills groups, neuro-biofeedback, and massage therapy.
Tracy A. King, LCSW-R of Healing Steps, has been practicing psychotherapy for twenty-two years and specializes in treatment of children’s behavioral and emotional issues such as abuse, trauma, ADD/ADHD, divorce, and separation anxiety. She offers phone and in-home consultations. For more information, or to schedule a consultation contact her at 914. 589.6755 or [email protected]