By: Dr. Erica Wollerman
Thank you so much for checking out my fourth and final blog in this series! As I mentioned before, this blog series is definitely more personal for me so I do hope that the thoughts that I am sharing are helpful to some of you and hopefully not too terribly offensive to the others! Please feel free to check out the first, second, and third parts of this series here!
As a child/teen/family therapist, I am often meeting with families during times of crises in their lives. Parents are calling my office during a time of upheaval, concern, and stress either due to events in their lives or concerns related to their child/teen’s development. This creates a unique bond and dynamic between us, which is part of why therapy works so well. And I should mention that I find it to be such a privilege and honor to be welcomed into a families’ life during such a vulnerable time.
Interestingly, what comes up very often in our initial conversations are questions, concerns, comments along the lines of “will my child/teen always be this way?” Parents are very worried that whatever behavior their child or teen is engaged in will be a permanent presence in their life. This question leads us to often have a conversation about child development and with me encouraging families to see that their child will grow, change, and learn over time. This means that even the most pervasive challenges and symptoms (anxiety, Autism, ADHD, etc) will evolve, change, and some will resolve over time.
So, this brings me to my fourth lesson that I hope to remember as a parent of my own kid(s), which is that just because something is happening for him or us in a moment, does not mean it is forever. I want to remember that some things are just a phase or stage of his development and that most symptoms or traits that cause concern will change, evolve, and grow over time. Along similar lines, I want to also remember that the way my child or teen acts at home, with friends, or at school is just one part of them. For example, when I was younger I was a pretty shy child. Like, hide from my babysitter’s husband kind of shy (and I definitely knew him well!). However, I feel that my parents did a good job of encouraging me to do things that were outside my comfort zone and creating opportunities for me to grow in my ability to connect with people. And now, though I get nervous about networking events or meeting new people, I can handle it and most people do not think of me as “shy, quiet, or timid.” I am so grateful that my parents managed to not label me as “the shy one” and kind of write off my ability to develop socially but were able to keep in mind that I could change, grow, and evolve as I grew up! I hope to do the same for my kid(s).
Thank you all for reading! I will share more with all of you as things progress and would appreciate any feedback you would like to give me!
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As always, thanks for reading and comments are always welcome. Contact us regarding any issues around child, a teen therapist San Diego and adult psychotherapy and Counseling San Diego at Thrive Therapy Studio.
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"Watch your thoughts,
They become words.
Watch your words,
They become actions.
Watch your actions,
They become habits.
Watch your habits,
They become character;
It becomes your destiny."