You want your child to be happy and safe, but lately you’ve been noticing concerning things. Your daughter’s grades are slipping. She has withdrawn from her friends and the family. She doesn’t have an appetite at meals. The things you’ve noticed have you concerned about a mental health condition, and you want to take her to therapy. That conversation is a hard one to start, but here are some tips to start it smoothly.
Calm and Natural Moments
Start the conversation when you’re both in a calm, natural moment in the day. Making a big deal about the conversation can make your teen uncomfortable and withdraw further. Choose a moment when you’re doing something such as washing the dishes or folding the laundry. You want it to be a normal part of the day when emotions are calm. Never start the conversation during or after an argument, because no one is in an open mindset then.
Share Observations and Concerns
Share what you notice that has you concerned. Be honest about your concerns and how they translate into choosing adolescent therapy in St Paul or another city. If you’ve noticed your son pulling away from his friends, you could say something like “I’ve noticed you spending less time with your friends. That’s a lonely place to be in, and no one enjoys feeling lonely. I want you to have someone to talk to about those feelings.”
Explain What Therapy Is
There’s a lot of stigma surrounding therapy. Explain to your adolescent what therapy is in reality. It’s not something intended to “fix” them in any way, and it’s nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s simply someone giving them a toolkit to handle the mental obstacles they face.
Noticing signs of mental health trouble in your teen is never easy. Being there for them through this time isn’t easy, either, but it’s important. Approaching your child about your concerns and seeking therapy is a hard conversation, but it’s also an opportunity to show them that you love them and you care.
If you need adolescent therapy in St Paul, contact Options Family & Behavioral Services. Find them online at www.optionsfamily.com.