Child Counseling

Child Counseling Michelle Bogdan Leesburg VA

Every image is used for illustrative purposes only. Any person shown is strictly a model.

Are You Worried About Your Child’s Well-being?

 Is your child struggling, and it seems like everyone out there is watching? Is your child losing his or her temper so frequently that you feel unsure how to parent ­– or even afraid? Does your child seem very anxious and worried over just about everything, even things that seem small to others? Is your child simply not listening to you, or even worse, to teachers? Are you embarrassed and worried about your child’s success in school? Do you wonder if there is a bigger issue going on? Maybe you find yourself saying, “Does my child have anxiety or ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), or something else? Why won’t they just listen?” Do you wish you could figure out what is going on with your child so you could offer him or her the best possible help?

Parenting is no easy task. Maybe your child has a temper or seems to experience confusing and worrisome mood swings. You may feel as though you are a bad parent who can’t manage your child. Perhaps your child is not as angry as much as he or she is anxious or fearful of many things, such as riding a bike or even just going to school. You might wonder how to help your child do these things without feeling so overwhelmed with emotion.

Maybe teachers or other school officials have begun to express concern about your child. You might appreciate the effort to help, but feel embarrassed that so many people are involved. Perhaps you wonder if the school is looking at you, and you fear they think your parenting needs to change. You may feel helpless and wonder what can be done to help your child feel better and function with greater ease.

Raising a Child Can Be Stressful, Confusing and Overwhelming

If you are worried about your child and doubtful of your parenting, you are not alone. When you first have a child, the baby looks so precious. Before you know it, your baby starts talking and grows into his or her own personality. This can be a wonderful experience to witness and yet sometimes it can be challenging as well. It’s hard not to internalize your child’s behaviors as something you are doing wrong, rather than seeing their challenges simply as moments in which they need support. But, remember that your son or daughter is trying to learn the game of life. This can be overwhelming for anyone, especially a child who has such limited life experiences.

Think back to a time when you had to figure out what to do, maybe in starting a new job or moving to a new city. What was it like for you? Were you a little nervous, not knowing what to expect? Well, this may be how your child feels too.

Learning to ride a bike, or learning the rules of a new teacher can all be difficult, especially when he or she may struggle internally as well. When your child struggles, in any way, he or she relies on your support. Because no one gets handed a parenting manual, it makes sense if you are not sure how to help support your child with every situation he or she faces. Consider taking a step back. Take some deep breaths and recognize that it’s okay you don’t have all the answers. We are all imperfect beings that sometimes need help from others.

Child Counseling Can Offer Alternative Ways Of Seeing The World

Since 2003, I have been helping parents connect with their children. When working with children and families, I want to hear everyone’s perspective, including both parents, your child’s, and his or her teachers, when appropriate. This helps ensure that we have an all-encompassing view of the situation. Depending on the age of your child, I often want to see you (parents) first. I would not want your child to feel uncomfortable in discussing his or her challenges. Child counseling needs to be a positive experience, somewhere that your child wants to be.

I will introduce my role as a therapist as similar to the guidance counselor at school. After gathering your child’s perspective on the family’s struggles, he or she will likely feel at ease and understand that he or she is not the “problem” – rather, there are family problems that need to be addressed. I want your child to know that while we may ask him or her to make some changes, siblings, schools, and parents can also make changes to help the family better get along with one another.

In some sessions, I will work with your son or daughter to develop coping skills, learn how to better relate to others or simply to express his or her concerns and needs in life. Maybe your child wants someone to better understand him or her. I want to help with whatever goals your child has.

Other child counseling sessions will likely include you or both parents together, depending on the family make-up. We will discuss overall family concerns, specific concerns for your son or daughter and parenting techniques. Often times, parents get caught up in the domino effect of parenting, meaning their child acts a certain way and they respond the same way they always do. Or, parents will try different things and nothing seems to work. Having a planned parenting approach may elicit an improved response from your child. We will explore various ideas together.

With guidance and support, your child can learn to better navigate his or her emotions and the challenges of growing up. You can help your child develop the skills to feel more confident in school and in life. In addition, you can reduce conflict and increase harmony in your home with the help of child counseling. You don’t have to go through all of the challenges of parenting alone.

You may believe that child counseling can help your son or daughter feel better in school and at home, but still have questions or concerns…

I feel like my family should be able to deal with this on our own…

Many families struggle with this very thing. It’s usually a big blow-up that triggers a person to schedule a first time therapy appointment. We all want to believe we can handle the situation on our own, however bringing your son or daughter to child counseling shows that you ARE, in fact, handling it. You are dealing with it head on. It is always your decision if therapy is for you. My thought would be… why wait for that big explosion? Let’s get a head start before your child gets to be a teenager and/or things get worse.

My partner can’t attend many appointments because of his/her work schedule.

Of course it is ideal to have both parents attend, especially for the first appointment and when working on parenting techniques. In all the times I have worked with families, scheduling always seems to work itself out. Appointments are flexible. Maybe you bring your son or daughter most times, and maybe your partner comes only to the appointments when we work on parenting. That’s okay.

Can I afford child counseling?

This is a concern for some families. Sometimes, however the question is more…”Can I afford NOT to attend therapy?” I know your family’s well-being and happiness is crucial to you. That’s why you are considering child counseling services. Sometimes things work themselves out on their own, and yet often times they do not.

Just as your child’s behaviors and emotions have changed from when he or she was first a precious newborn baby, your parenting has had to evolve as well. Change is inevitable and so it may be best to influence change for the better.

Free Phone Consultation

It’s okay if you have additional questions about child counseling. Everyone’s situation is unique. I am happy to talk with you to discuss your specific concerns or situation. I offer a free 15-minute telephone consultation for potential new clients. I also offer a parenting group titled, “Perceptive Parenting on Challenging Children.” This group focuses on specific parenting techniques and looks at where your parenting style comes from. Feel free to read more about it on this website I look forward to working with you and your child!  If you have questions about your specific situation or about my practice in general, please feel free to contact me at (703) 554-2882.