A child’s biological tendencies do not begin with logical thought—though this does come with time. Children are more driven by their impulses, feeling sensations, and day-to-day happenings. — Melinda S. Malher-Moran, MA, LMHC, BC-DMT
Is your child acting up these days more than usual?
That behavior can stem from a lot of things. If you and your spouse have marital issues and are on the verge of getting a divorce, the offspring may resort to being rebellious to show that they’re in distress. In case someone died within the family, they can become irritable and lose interest in mingling with people or participating in class.
The truth is, as much as you try to keep a kid out of the drama, he or she remains in the heart of it. Worse, they cannot understand what’s happening around them, and so the mixed emotions affect their attitude.
Once you can’t get through to your child, then maybe it’s time to contact a health professional who can do that. The counselor will most likely subject him or her to play therapy, which is fitting for kids of all ages.
Find out what this treatment can do to your little one below.
Boost Freedom Of Expression
When a kid is born in a family in which the adults are too busy with their work to even tuck the youngsters in bed, it will honestly be difficult to encourage them to speak about their issues. The things that the children can’t voice out, however, can reflect through every illustration, roleplay, or painting they create during a therapeutic session.
An experienced therapist will be able to interpret all the emotions and relay them to the guardian. This way, the latter gets an idea of what the kid is stressing over and possibly resolve it.
While the arts may sometimes be a form of play, encouraging individuals to express themselves through a painting, music, or dance involves an understanding of the media beyond the scope of play. — Cathy Malchiodi PhD, LPCC, LPAT, ATR-BC, REAT
The first time a troubled child comes to play therapy, it is probable that all of their outputs may appear somewhat dark. If they play with a drum set, you can only hear the loud noise. The artworks may either be indescribable or show sad images too. And once they act out a scene using dolls or robots, the concept may about a mother spanking her kid, a student being mean to a classmate or other types of violence.
Despite that, the more they attend counseling, the more their thoughts will improve. The child gets to put himself or himself in different points of view; that’s why their creations can lighten up, and the stories can have better endings.
Develop Decision-Making Skills
While therapy commences, a counselor will typically place the kid in a room full of toys and leave them there for a bit to observe their behavior from the outside. The benefit of doing so is that the child has the opportunity to choose which one he or she will play initially. Not only will the practice help them go after what they want; it also strengthens their ability to make decisions for themselves.
Know What Responsibility Means
Play therapy also teaches children how to own up their actions, good or bad. Though kids have free rein on all the toys used for the treatment, they are responsible for ensuring that none of them ends up broken. If they either keep on breaking items or lying about it, the counselor can tell the consequence that comes with that, and then serve it in case the child still won’t listen. In this manner, they can learn the importance of handling a responsibility well.
Part of providing treatment to children and families is re-education (what therapists call “psychoeducation”) about how mental illness becomes embedded in our close relationships, including parent-child, sibling, intimate/marital, and whole-family relationships. At the end of the day, parents are often responsible for getting children to and from appointments and organizing fees. If parents are not on board, treatment suffers. — Dillon Browne Ph.D.