Children grow through many developmental stages as they progress from infancy into early childhood. Even prior to being able to verbally tell us what they are feeling and thinking, their little brains are working to make sense of their relationships and attachments, the interactions and behaviors of others, and their place in the environment around them. Depending on all these factors as well as the temperament and genetic disposition of your child, issues with mood, anxiety, behavior, and socialization can emerge. Parents often notice symptoms of negative behavior and defiance, social anxiety, frequent sadness, poor school performance, and many other problems that keep their children from living the happy, carefree lives that we want for them. Therapy services can help you and your child work through the thoughts and feelings driving these behavior patterns while helping them to develop the self-assurance and coping strategies necessary to be their best.
Regardless of how we tend to look back on our teen years, with fond memories of the seemingly carefree existence, compared to what we now face as adults, being a teenager in today’s world can be extremely stressful and difficult. Increasing school and social demands, pressures to make life-altering decisions about their future, managing new relationship dynamics, and working to develop a sense of self can be overwhelming to even the BEST kids with loving, supportive families. This can often lead to depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, parent-child relational concerns, and/or behavioral issues that leave both parents and adolescents frustrated and needing help. In our work with teens, we strive to help them process all of the feelings and pressures that they are facing, help them feel more normal for having these experiences, and help them build coping skills and ways of communicating their thoughts, feelings, and needs with parents and others as they work through their teenage years.
There are no degrees or accolades bestowed on us for the endless hours and sleepless nights that we all experience as we raise our children to hopefully be happy, healthy, competent, well-adjusted adults. There is no question that parenting is both the hardest and most important work we will ever do on this planet. Often, in spite of all our best efforts as parents, our family and relationships do not come close to looking like the Norman Rockwell version that we often strive to achieve, and that’s okay. Contrary to the unrealistic standards we often hold ourselves to, LIFE often gets in the way of our relationships and interactions with each other. Having walked this journey ourselves, you will find help and support in your journey to strengthen those relationships and interactions with your loved ones rather than judgement or blame. You will receive tools to help you better understand the needs of your individual family members while gaining the support needed to create structure, communication, and to clarify the roles and expectations within the home. Our mission is to help you design your home and family to be a place of refuge, love, and hope in the midst of everyday chaos and challenges.
If you have embarked on a fostering or adoptive journey, you are without a doubt demonstrating obedience to one of God’s most important scriptural mandates, but you have no doubt discovered that living in service and obedience certainly does not automatically grant us a life of ease and tranquility. As an adoptive parent, as well as having worked closely with many families navigating the highs and lows of loving hurting children, be assured that having a solid, encouraging, experienced support system is vital to the health and emotional stability of you and your child. Let us help you navigate these challenges by providing education, validating the myriad of emotions you both are feeling, and developing plans to help you create an environment of safety and love that will hopefully promote healing and restoration for your child.
Nicki Kinley, LCSW specializes in working with children who struggle with ADHD, Behavioral issues, Anxiety, Depression, Bipolar Disorder, OCD, attachment/adjustment issues, and trauma responses. To learn more about Nicki, click here.