13 Jun Staying in Touch: Family Therapy for Parents of Children from 11-25
Image copyright: lisafx / 123RF Stock Photo
At this time of year, exams are just one more source of stress that many of our children have to try and cope with as they navigate that winding and uneven path which we all hope will lead them eventually to successful adulthood. Young romance, body changes, peer pressure, fashion, leaving home, acne… are just some of the other potential stumbling blocks along the way.
Behaviour Concerns and Family Therapy
As parents, we can feel utterly powerless to help as our children’s healthy drive for independence sometimes leads them into dark places, particularly if behaviour starts to become a concern. When we find ourselves in this predicament it is more important than ever to keep communication channels open, and to understand that disruptive behaviours may be your child’s only way of ‘acting out’ what is in their still-developing mind. One of the biggest tragedies is when communication breaks down completely as a response to ‘intolerable’ behaviour. The consequences can be devastating, particularly for young men (males in the 17 to 25 year age group are statistically more likely to commit suicide than any other group).
When is Family Therapy Necessary?
Bridging the gap that separates you from your troubled teen (or tween) might start with simply offering them a sense of perspective by asking them, ‘are things really that bad?’ In general, if your child isn’t on hard drugs, pregnant or running away from home, you’re doing pretty well!
If they feel it’s necessary, any family or individual from a family unit can access counselling and family therapy without referral, even if they are under the age of 18. Sometimes, family therapy can provide that little tweak that can bring relationships back on track and smooth the road through adolescence for all concerned.