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To Our Many Struggling Kids (and Parents)

Guidance on How to Help in the Moment

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Jill Sylvester, LMHC

If you are a parent, or someone who works with kids and/or knows a parent, please read this blog today.

We need to keep things as simple as possible.

Many kids are struggling.

As a result, many parents are struggling.

“A mother is only as happy as her saddest child.” Phil McGraw

(Insert father as well).

Therapists are maxed out in their schedules with so many parents searching for guidance.

Yes, reaching out for an objective perspective is a very good idea.

Please, continue to look for resources.

But in the meantime:

You must believe that you, yes, you, have the tools you already need to help your child.

Your son or daughter is yours for a reason.

If you dig deep and trust in the soul partnership you came here to fulfill (each of you teaching the other in various ways), you will begin to sense what to say and what to do when they are acting out, swearing, crying, engaged in self-destructive behaviors and feeling alone and afraid.

Yes, you will.

Here’s a question to ask yourselves while you’re waiting for a professional:

Can you relate?

Do you know what it’s like to feel angry, sad, overwhelmed, overstimulated, addicted to social media or isolated in some way, even if it isn’t exactly the same circumstances your child is in at the moment?

Share that. Step out of the way you normally tend to parent and open to something new.

Take the time.

Share your own experiences of when you felt similar feelings.

Maybe you still do.

Maybe this will be a therapeutic time for the both of you to start to address feelings that have never been examined or explored, all in the name of helping your child.

I stopped adding children to my practice some time ago.

Why? One, because I don’t have room in my current schedule.

Two, because I found that when I work with the parents instead, first, to help their children, an amazing thing happens.

It’s called top down.

If you want to help your child, you work on you, while you are also employing the appropriate strategies to guide your child.

Explore your feelings around what they are experiencing.

Let nothing go unchecked.

Honor whatever it is that comes up, and then see if there is something there for you to heal and learn from that connects to whatever your child is going through.

See if your work doesn’t help their process become healthier.

It won’t happen overnight. Breathe. Trust the process.

See if there is something there for you to share, to feel, to understand and empathize with.

Then speak,

then act,

then become part of the solution that guides your son or daughter to a more peaceful, powerful place.

Cause that’s all they need. Truly.

We can’t change the world for them, the chaotic school routine, homework, tests, friendships, etc.

What we can do, and what we must do, is offer them a space to be held, to be heard, to feel validated and to feel safe.

That is our job as parents.

If you keep that one simple focus in each day, you will move through with far greater ease.

Separately, to listen to my interview with Dr. Ann Doggett of WholeBody Solutions on all things health and wellness, including anti-anxiety supplements to help your child, tune in to our weekly Trust Your Intuition podcast HERE! Now available on iTunes, Spotify, Google, and iHeart Radio.

Jill Sylvester is a licensed mental health counselor, author of the Nautilus award winning book,”Trust Your Intuition: 100 Ways to Transform Anxiety and Depression for Stronger Mental Health,” and host of the “Trust Your Intuition Podcast.” She is also the creator of Planting the Seeds, a Mom’s Choice Award winning line of social and emotional tools and curriculum for parents and teachers. Her work has been featured in Well+Good, Bustle, SheKnows, WorkingMother, Parenthood, TeenMentor, and OprahMag.com. For more information, please subscribe at www.jillsylvester.com or like us on Instagram at @Jill_Sylvester or @Plantingtheseedscards.The Innovation

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