Summer is the perfect time to hang out by the pool, take a trip to visit family and - start your child or teenager in counseling. That’s right, summer might be the perfect time to begin counseling services for your son or daughter.
Schedule-wise, counseling in the summer might seem daunting. You might be trying to work around summer camps or football practice. But counseling in the school is even more daunting - especially when your therapist has only a certain amount of slots available after school and every other parent is trying to get those times. Scheduling with a counselor in the summer can actually be easier than it is in the school year.
Counseling works best when it starts before a problem does. Are you worried about your child’s transition into elementary, middle or high school? Do you already think that your child or teen is having anger problems and worry about how those will play out in August when school starts? Get ahead of problems by anticipating them and bringing your child or teen to counseling to learn tools to handle situations before they occur.
I always tell parents that summer can be the best time for a child or teen to experience emotional growth through counseling. It is the only time of year that their energy and attention is not taken up with the stress of school. During the summer, kids have extra energy to turn towards processing emotional issues. They are able to focus on learning and practicing new skills in a low risk environment.
Counselors can anticipate that the first or second week of school will be when parents begin calling and seeking services for their children. Some of the problems that show up during these first two weeks of school are surprises - parents can’t anticipate that their son/daughter might have someone in their class they really can’t get along with. However, there are problems that we can anticipate and as parents can get ahead of by starting counseling before school starts.
If you know your child or teen could benefit from working on learning new emotional skills to add to their toolbox don’t wait until August to call and make an appointment with a counselor. If you are planning on being in town this summer, it could be a perfect time to get a head-start on being emotionally healthy!