Am I ridiculous for thinking my child needs therapy?

Am I ridiculous for thinking my child needs therapy?

Am I ridiculous for thinking my child needs therapy? 2560 1707 Dr. Terry

If ever there was a high-stakes job, parenting is it! Most highly skilled jobs require hundreds of hours of on-the-job training and/or years of post secondary education. Yet, kids–these most precious and precocious gifts–are given to parents without so much as a how-to guide. Depending on our own family and growing-up experiences, we may have had the benefit of many models of how we do (or DO NOT!) want to parent our kids. But, those models may not be relevant as we have hoped once we’re finally introduced to our own little ones.

Am I ridiculous for thinking my child needs therapy?

Most parents experience situations or whole seasons of feeling overwhelmed and under prepared to deal with their child’s behavior or emotions. Every phase of a child’s development presents new and exciting skills, as well as challenges to be mastered. Parents are constantly adjusting their expectations and incorporating new strategies to survive each new developmental step–from the Terrible Twos, to communicating about curfews, and up to college decisions. 

Thus, it is an unrealistic standard for any parent to expect themselves to be thoroughly equipped to handle each stage of development. Especially since it gets exponentially more complex with each new child that joins the family. There is yet to be a parent who is perfectly matched to each and every phase of childhood for each of their children. Most parents, in fact, excel at many parenting duties and love a particular age range with their child. Those same parents also sprout new grey hairs trying to figure out how to better handle certain aspects of parenting.

So no, you are not ridiculous for wondering if your kid may need therapy!

You are just self-aware enough to recognize that you may have some gaps in your understanding of your child or of parenting in general. And for this, you’d love to have someone else on your team to help fill in those gaps.

Recognize and value the important role that you play in your child’s growth! Give yourself permission to learn and grow and get better at this job! Sometimes a therapist can help you and your child in that process.


Finding the right therapist for your child: An empowering experience.

Just as there are all sorts of personalities in the world, there are also many child and family therapists who work from different angles and have different kinds of training. This, positively, ensures that parents can find a therapist who feels like a comfortable fit for them and their child. So when looking for a therapist, be sure to listen or look for key phrases or ideas that resonate with you. For instance:

  • Does the therapist have experience working with other children with similar struggles?
  • Do they communicate with and about your child in a way that feels respectful and approachable?
  • Do they offer clear steps to help you move toward more confident parenting?

Answering affirmatively to these questions will definitely make you feel more hopeful about yourself and your child. Plus, the therapist is likely a great fit!


The Thrive Process

At Thrive, we work with the parent(s) and child together. Yes, your child may need therapy, but you also need strategies and support to help you as you nurture your child through this process. By actively participating in therapy WITH your child, you’re modeling for them a growth mindset of willingness to learn, change, and grow even as an adult. When working with families, we typically provide a mix of individual and combined sessions. These will help you and your child learn strategies independently and then practice them together. Sometimes, the kids need time on their own to vent and ask questions. The parents, on the other hand, need permission to speak freely without fear of hurting or embarrassing their child. Then together, we can collaborate to identify and practice strategies that will work for your specific family.


Still unsure if your child needs therapy? Ask yourself these questions:

  • Could our home be more peaceful if we learned and practiced better ways of handling conflict?
  • Does my child’s behavior cause me to change daily routines or avoid certain activities that I would otherwise do?
  • Does my child get into moods that are hard to shake and that throw them off for day or weeks?
  • Do I find myself resorting to punishments or tactics that help me blow off steam, but don’t result in better behavior or an improved relationship?
  • Do my responses to my child’s behavior leave us both feeling worse about ourselves?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, therapy could be a great option for your family. The Thrive psychologists fully admit to being imperfect parents ourselves, so our therapy space is a judgment-free zone. We’d also love to share what we’ve learned and join you in helping you understand your child better.

If you’re interested in taking the next steps with Thrive or if we can help connect you to the right therapist elsewhere, we’re happy to help. Set up a free consultation HERE and we’ll get started!