Every so often, I have the opportunity to speak with parents about varying topics – through school functions, church gatherings, or community health fairs. I watch parents flock to the physicians, the coaches, and the entertainment vendors (video games, art activities, etc) in large numbers while my vendor booth stands quietly by unless I stand in front of a person to introduce myself – while they are en route to another table.
I can talk about anything so I am generally able to hold enough of a conversation to casually explain the services offered through the counseling agency I’ve owned and operated for 20 years. Without fail, at least one parent will ask if their child needs counseling?
Oh I don’t know? How do you handle other areas of their life? Do you take your child to the doctor? Does your child have an annual dental exam? How often do you take them to the optometrist? With any of those professionals, do you wait until something is wrong to take them? Are any of the visits for preventive measures only – to make sure everything is okay?
I explain to families that having a Family Counselor is just as helpful as having a physician, optometrist, and dentist for the family. Don’t wait until you are in crisis to build a relationship with a counselor. With kids, you can demonstrate to them how important it is to be healthy; spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. As a parent, you are the first line of defense to determine if anything is wrong. When you can’t fix what is wrong, you take them to a professional who determines what level of treatment is needed. It’s the same with a counselor. Do your child a favor and stop waiting until the drug paraphernalia shows up in the room, or the teacher calls because the semester paper depicted the life of an exceptionally sad child. What about when the grades drop after the family has had a significant life changing event? If an adult would have a hard time managing the circumstances, think about how the child is feeling? There are hundreds even thousands of small events which provide an insight into how a child is managing their life.
So, I could list an array of reasons a parent should find a counselor for their child, however, the easiest way to explain it is – If you don’t wait until you have a disease to get the vaccination, don’t wait until there is a crisis before introducing your child to a counselor.
Tune in and I will give you some pointers on finding a good counselor for your family.