Updated: Mar 14
Yes, I know.
''A Counsellor for my child? But my child is not mentally ill. I have brought them up pretty darn well. They are strong and can handle things. And of course they can talk to me anytime. I don't think they need help or worse to be cured of anything.''
Ignoring the signs is the best way to end up at the wrong destination.
First off. Let us address the elephant in the room. Your child does not need to be sick to take professional help to improve the quality of their life. We all deserve a better shot at life. And if someone can program your child's attitude for success, why not?
To all the Parents reading this, taking your child to a Counsellor/Mentor/Coach does not mean you didn't do your job well, and that you need help. It just means you did everything in your power to empower your child and now it is time for a professional; someone trained to understand Teen behaviour, Brain Function and Cognitive behaviour. So let us allow the experts to do their job.
It is like hiring a math tutor to help your child understand math better and not doing it yourself. Coaching is like hiring a Personal Mentor for your child whose main aim is to enhance the mental, emotional well being of your child.
Here are three reasons why your child needs a counsellor.
1. De-programming certain habits:
Teen and Tween ( 9-12 years) are the habit forming years. This is when children pick up useful as well as sometimes harmful habits. Anything done in excess, as we know can be an addiction. Binge watching web series, instagramming all night long, being overly obsessed with weight and body image. Breaking old habits and deprogramming takes more skill, patience and guidance, than we estimate. Surely, the constant Parenting ranting about the harmful effects of a habit or motivational speeches are given no heed by your teen despite your best effort.
Most often, repetitive, non-productive behaviour that seems harmful ( like being obsessed about how many followers one has on instagram ) needs to be analysed at the root: need for validation, need for attention etc. And these can be addressed in healthy ways too.
Sometimes the act of venting is helpful
2. Building habits of success:
Your child's school can only do so much. With growing needs in the Future of Work ( Yellow Collar world ) It is almost impossible and overwhelming to cover important aspects of living as part of the academic framework. Building habits of success is quintessential.
The skills and competencies required for the Yellow Collar world are fast changing. How can you as parents help teens build these skills in real time? without it seeming like yet another tuition they are forced to join. Get a Mentor for your child to work on specific skills in the real world ( also adding to their college applications )
3. Identify the REAL them:
Understanding what captivates your child is uber important, especially at an early age. ( Read how Deepa Saji identified the cricketer in her son )
Having a third person evaluate your child with a fresh perspective never hurts. And your child may open up without having to worry about the image they have built of themselves for you.
Multiple intelligences is the best way to know which are the dominant intelligences your child has and how it can be built to a suitable career in the future.
There are honestly several benefits in engaging a counsellor for your child. The best way to approach a counsellor is by having clarity on what outcome you wish to accomplish for your child during the time of engagement.
- By Mala Mary Martina