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How to support your kids through therapy

Therapy for kids is never an easy option to consider, but it's so important to support them with emotional needs that are respectful to them. Here's some honest tips from an expert

children thinking on hammock
Photo by Janko Ferlič on Unsplash

Being a parent is a tough job and a huge task – they’re under so much pressure to produce happy, healthy, sporty, academic and social children. Kids don’t come with manuals and while there’s plenty of advice out there, it can sometimes feel overwhelming.

If you’ve got to a point where you feel you need professional help, this is to be commended as it a brave and constructive step. Child therapy is never an easy option for parents to consider, but putting their wellbeing as a priority and seeking help from a professional, could be the most important thing you can do for your child because the right therapy, can change lives.

Shelly Dar is a trained counsellor and has worked with a variety of clients, helping them overcome personal trauma, stop smoking and even unblocking negative energy. She also uses combined her counselling with complementary therapy which works wonderfully well. Here she offers her advice on how to help your kids through therapy.

GET TO KNOW THE THERAPIST FIRST

You need to feel comfortable with who you introduce your child to, it will become a relationship and it has to feel right. I like to speak to all new clients prior to first meeting to ensure we fit. For your child, you will need to make the decision for them but you can also get them involved by showing them a photo or describing the therapist to your child before the first session.

COMFORT

Children that are accessing support should see it as a positive choice. Nothing should be forced – they haven’t done anything wrong so there shouldn’t be any negative connotations about it. Meeting an unfamiliar grown up and being questioned can often be related to being ‘in trouble’ which is exactly what we don’t want. Dealing with bullies, sporting prowess, family break up, exam stress – it can all impact negatively and display itself at any time, impacting later in life. You don’t want the seeds of discomfort to set, because then the weeds grow and stifle positive development and growth. 

RESPECT THEIR PRIVACY

Having a private space to explore emotions can be a small but very empowering experience for kids. It is important to respect this and assure them that everything that is said in that room is completely confidential. After a session, don’t badger your child about what was spoken about, instead, let them know that you are always there to listen, when and if they want to talk.

ONLINE PROTECTION

When all your child wants is to be is the next YouTuber or Influencer, online safety becomes a huge area of concern. Surely YouTube can’t be damaging, can it? It can! Set up parental controls, adult content filters, manage screen time. No screens in the bedroom (good luck with teens) These are simple ways to manage for now. Ensure you set a good example yourself, i.e.no phones at the dinner table.

CREATE A JOURNAL

Many kids have a hard time expressing themselves verbally and sometimes don’t feel comfortable talking to their parents. It’s important to not push them for information but offer a different outlet for expressing themselves. Kids can decorate a journal with things they like and then write in it when they want to express themselves. If they are creative types, they may prefer to colour mandalas.

STRESS BALLS

Good old fashioned stress balls uses to be the thing you’d reach for when you were at work but they really work for kids too. More recently, Pop it fidget toys have become a great way for nervous kids to use as a distraction when suffering from anxiety as it gives the hands something to do and then allows their brain to then focus on other tasks such as listening to a teacher or reading.

Shelly Dar. Call or text: 07731 531 561. E: leicstherapy@gmail.com

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