Children’s Issues I help kids with
Children’s issues – with the exception of some older adolescents, it is clear that one cannot begin working with a child in the same way that one would work with an adult. We work with adults by sitting down with them and inviting them to talk to us. If we used the same approach with children they would be unlikely to tell us anything of importance.
They might quickly become bored with the conversation, or withdraw into silence. Even if they did begin to talk, they would probably deflect away from important issues. This is true even for children and adolescents who are highly articulate.
If we are to engage children so that they begin to talk freely about difficult issues, we can still use verbal skills, of the sort used with adult clients, but we also need to be prepared to employ a range of other strategies. Mainly in hypnotherapy
Some children’s issues I work with are listed below but there are many others.
- Addictions; e.g. gaming, smoking,
- Anxiety and fears
- Bedwetting (Enuresis)
- Behavioural problems
- Bereavement and grief
- Blushing and embarrassment; e.g. speaking-up in class
- Divorce and family break-ups
- Food issues; e.g. overeating, food restriction, binge eating
- Habits; e.g. nail-biting, etc
- Low confidence
- Low self-esteem
- Obsessive or compulsive behaviours and thoughts
- Exam nerves
- Peer Pressure
- School refusal
- Sleep problems
Hypnotherapy for children can help with conditions such as dyslexia and ADHD. Not always directly. But it can help them manage the challenges that these conditions cause.
I have written a little bit more about some of the common children’s issues below.
Many normal children have mild emotional disturbances at some point in their development. These are a normal part of growing up and not a cause for concern. Some aspects of normal development may at first appear to be psychiatric symptoms. For example, separation anxiety is completely normal in toddlers. Fear of the dark or of animals is also extremely common in the under-sevens. Young children frequently have periods of being irritable and bad tempered and may also show behaviours which appear obsessional and ritualistic. However, they are not identical – unlike psychiatric symptoms, the rituals are not felt to be imposed or compulsory and the child does not resist the act. This sort of behaviour often develops as part of a game – for instance, not standing on the cracks in the pavement.
Fears, Phobias and Anxiety
These problems are especially common in early childhood and around the time of puberty, but they can occur at any stage. Fears may be specific to one particular type of object or situation, or it may be quite generalised and unfocused.
Children are often influenced by the fears and anxieties of those around them, and phobias may be ‘learned’ from other family members. If a parent is afraid of thunderstorms, cows or water, the child is much more likely to develop similar fears. In other cases, the child’s fear may stem from personal experiences, as when a child becomes afraid of water after having a near-drowning experience. The fear may also arise because the child feels they are incompetent in particular situations. For instance, children may be very anxious about meeting new people if they lack social skills.
Fears may also arise if the child is uncertain or unsettled in his close personal relationships. For example, if children lack confidence in their parents – perhaps because in the past their experience of being parented was unpredictable or haphazard – they may not believe their parents will be there when needed. They may begin to develop anxieties and fears about what is happening to their parents when they are not present. Under such circumstances children may become afraid to leave their parents in case something dreadful happens – illness or an accident, for example. It is believed that such fears are sometimes at the root of school refusal. The child believes that something terrible might happen to the parent while he or she is at school, or perhaps that his or her parents will not be there after school.
Such fears and anxieties are not always related to the child’s real experience. Even when parents have provided consistent, loving support, the child may develop anxieties around the relationship.