Tips For Making Going To Therapy Easier For Your Child

Being a parent isn't easy. It can be especially stressful and difficult if you are the parent of a child who is suffering. One way to ease this problem is to get your child to a child therapist. The child therapist will know the strategies needed to help your child deal with his or her anger, sadness, and fear in an age appropriate way. Taking your child to therapy might sound great to a parent, but no so great for the child. Here are some tips for making going to therapy easier for your child.

1. Make It Clear That Your Child is Not In Trouble

The first and most important step that you can take is to make it very clear to your child that he or she is not in trouble. This is a very common misconception for children who go to therapy because they are used to having the issues that cause them to need therapy, such as problems managing their anger, get them in trouble. If your child is very young, consider phrasing going to see a therapist as "going to see a helper," since you want to make it obvious to your child that therapists help people and are not punishment.

2. Never Lie

When you are taking your child to the therapist, whether it is for the first time or a repeat time, always tell your child exactly where he or she is going. This will allow you to keep the trust that your child has for you and will reduce the chances of there being any resistant refusal to get out of the car.

3. Don't Use Therapy As a Punishment

If your child is throwing a fit at the grocery store, do not tell him or her to stop the behavior "or else they have to go back to the therapist." This is important because if you do this, you are negating the fact that therapy is not punishment. Keep your child willing to go to therapy by not making it a bad thing.

4. Talk To Your Child About Your Experiences In Therapy

If you had to go to therapy, for example for postpartum depression, tell your child about it. Say that you were very scared and sad for a very long time and nothing that you could do could make you feel better, so you went and talked to someone so that they could help you figure out better ways to make yourself feel better. If you can show your child how therapy helped you, he or she might be able to internalize the idea that therapy will help him or her.

For more information, talk to a child therapist.