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Being a parent can be challenging at the best of times. But if your child has additional complications such as an illness or unexpected diagnosis, things can become even more testing. Seeking advice from an experienced, qualified professional can make a huge difference, but knowing when to seek support and where to turn can be a challenge in itself.

Every child and family is unique, which means there's no one-size-fits-all approach to providing support. The following guidance breaks things down so you know your options, and can make the choice that's right for your family in confidence, but please call us if there's anything you're uncertain of - or would simply rather speak to a human - we'll always do our best to help.

 

When's the right time to seek support?

Every family has its ups and downs and knowing when to reach out can be difficult. Change can happen gradually over long periods, and this can make things easy to miss. Often, there isn’t a clear point when it becomes obvious that support is needed.

If there are more bad days than good, if you feel like you simply don’t know what to do, or if you feel out of control, it might be time to have a conversation with someone who can help.

 

Areas that parents commonly seek support for their children include:

  • Low self-esteem
  • Bullying or being a bully
  • Sleep issues and nighttime routines
  • Depression
  • Self-harm
  • Eating concerns, picky eating or comfort eating
  • Concerns about behaviour – angry outbursts and tantrums
  • Bedwetting
  • Disruptive behaviour in the home
  • Change. This can include family breakups, deaths, a change of school or a house move

 

Support at school

Ideally, teachers who spend a lot of time with a student who needs support should endeavour to equip themselves with adequate knowledge of the child's specific requirements. And it's important that any support given is at the right level to support the child's specific challenges. Some children may need one-to-one attention. If possible, we recommend using an experienced learning support assistant, who will often provide a higher level of one-to-one help. 

 

Strategies at home

Every child will face their own challenges and many parents will look to books, friends or the internet to find parenting solutions to help. This approach can help, but there may also be times when it will feel like nothing seems to work. If you would like additional support, we can arrange a consultation with a parenting expert who will work with your individual situation to advise you on the best techniques for your child. They will be able to help you implement these techniques and provide follow-up appointments if needed.

 

What to expect from a parenting session

You may feel nervous about seeking help from a parenting expert and this is completely normal. No one likes to feel under scrutiny or judged. Our approach is completely non-judgemental. Our specialists create a neutral space to look at what isn’t working in your family and how adjustments might help.

Depending on your child's age and specific requirements, you may meet as a whole family. This will help the therapist see how the family works as a whole and then have time with the parenting advisor separately. Teenagers might have individual time with the therapist, and this can be very helpful in allowing them to speak their minds without fear of upsetting other people.

Occasionally, one session is all it needs. However, it usually takes a few sessions to improve things dramatically - and many families we work with cannot believe the difference it makes.

 

Getting clinical advice from an expert

It's normal to have lots of questions when your child is diagnosed with a mental health condition. Sometimes all you need is a conversation with an expert about what's happening in your family. It can be hugely helpful to speak to an experienced specialist who will be able to help you see things more clearly, and explain your options. Small changes can make a big difference and it could be that you or your child would benefit from further assistance.  

 

Call us in complete confidence

Our diverse team of parenting and family therapists have years of experience helping families with all types of challenges and from all backgrounds. Call us confidentially on 020 3761 7026 and one of our clinical advisors will listen before providing their recommendations for support.

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