Don’t you wish you knew what makes your teen tick? Wouldn’t you love to be the parent who knows exactly what to say and do in any crisis situation? Can you even imagine the luxury of knowing that your children are perfectly well adjusted, happy and wanting for nothing? Let’s face it; it’s VERY DIFFICULT to be a parent, under the best of circumstances. And, certainly, during those (hopefully) rare occasions when you have no idea what to do to help your child get back on track, you have no intentions of doing nothing and watching your child struggle and fail.
Sometimes, even when things are going absolutely great, our children are exposed to situations which are beyond their control or understanding. Serious illness or death of a loved one, bullying, nightmares, and moving to a new town are all situations that can leave your once happy child feeling frightened, helpless, and alone. Additionally, kids often don’t have control over things they are asked to do, or how they’re treated by others (namely siblings, peers or teachers). This can lead to frustration, confusion and anger. These problems, if left unaddressed can evolve into chronic worrying, health issues and even depression. No matter how concerned, loving and involved you as a parent may be, there are times when you just can’t help enough. You may not be able to make the pain or fear or anxiety go away, no matter what you try or how much you care. This is the point at which you need to seek out professional help.
That’s where Life Skills Resource Group in Orlando comes in. We have two therapists who specialize in working with children and adolescents; Amy V. Smith, M.S., L.M.H.C. and Kim C. Murphy, M.S., Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern. Both have extensive experience working with children and teens in the public school setting as well as in private practice.
Hoping that a child will grow out of her moodiness or thinking it’s just a phase she’s in may be a common response for a parent, but it could be a missed opportunity to prevent a small problem from becoming a huge one. Parents can sometimes miss the serious nature of their child or teen’s concerns, saying things like “Oh, I was so dramatic when I was her age. She’s just like me. She’ll get over it. I did. Besides, she has all the things that I never did. How can she possibly be unhappy?” Or, “He just needs to toughen up. I don’t understand why he isn’t more active. I was on the wrestling team and the track team my senior year. How can he just stay in his room all the time? When I was his age, I had a job and a girlfriend. He just doesn’t want to do anything.”
While it may look like laziness or selfishness or plain old irritability on the surface, their teen’s behavior might be indicative of something much more serious. Parents may not realize how high the stakes are, and that teenagers can be so impulsive. Teens can see temporary situations as permanent and irreparable. They may find their current circumstances (whether real or a matter of perception) so intolerable that they engage in high risk behavior to mask their pain or even contemplate self harm.
Our child therapists have a solid understanding of how children grow, think and behave. Amy and Kim know that if problems aren’t dealt with swiftly and effectively during childhood or adolescence, they can follow a kid all the way into adulthood. They have many tools and techniques to alleviate the stress and elevate the self-esteem of the young clients in their care. If you feel your child is struggling, and you don’t know what to do, please check out Amy and Kim’s Bios on the Our Team page and give them a call.
To Contact: TherapistKimMurphy@gmail.com