Why Find a Family Counselor?
Today’s families are under enormous pressure. Childhood is no longer a protected space for children to gradually adjust to realities of adult life. Opportunities for disappointment and hurt have multiplied with the access to technology that most children carry in their pocket. It is more important than ever that parents are equipped to communicate about the realities of life and build strong relationships with their children.
How Does Family Counseling Work?
Using words to name and share wants and needs is a skill that must be learned. No one uses their words for this all the time, but childhood is a time where the need to learn this skill is accepted and supported. Parents don’t usually receive the same acceptance and support when they have not yet mastered it. Adulthood itself is not a cure for the childhood habit of using behavior to get a response to our needs and wants from others. In fact, the closer our relationships are, the more likely we are to do it. It doesn’t always cause problems, but when problems occur, it is often the non-verbal exchanges that we make in our relationships that trip us up. Adults who have not learned to use their words to tackle the emotional challenges of adulthood are especially at risk as parents.
What Can Family Counseling do?
There are no easy answers, but family counseling can help. Parents are busier than ever, but they have never felt more alone. Sometimes that busyness is tangled up in a parent’s own difficulty needing and wanting. Busyness is a common behavior adults use to manage their needs and wants without having to talk about them. Slowing down to ask for help is the first step in making a change. All parents have times when they feel they are the only ones who don’t know what to do to help their child. Any difficulty in accepting this need for help or support makes the typical challenges of parenting far more stressful than necessary and leads to heightened emotional responses to every day parenting problems. Most parents love their children and want to see them grow and mature into healthy functional adults, but parents are just people. People, who struggle with their own story about how to grow up and to respond to a world that doesn’t know what they need and want unless they learn to ask.
What Can Family Counseling Change?
Family counseling is a way that parents and children can gain the support that they need to do just that. The family that can practice needing and wanting together, is a family that provides sanctuary for its members. Everyone needs a place of sanctuary. Without it, we grow weary, age faster and experience more disturbances in our sleep and mental health. Regardless of the stressors they endure, families that can talk with each other about what they need and want from each other are able to give each other the gift of sharing life’s joys and weathering life’s inevitable hurts and disappointments together.