How do Psychologists Help with Child Development?
Every year a child grows older offers the child new challenges in terms of their development. As a parent, you are responsible to make sure your child’s progress is always measured and headed in the right direction. Unfortunately, there are a lot of things that can adversely affect how your child develops.
For the most part, parents don’t really think about enlisting the services of a child psychologist or neurologist until their child starts showing signs that something is not right. It’s very possible that’s how you view using a psychologist to help in your child’s development. Of course, that is the right time to seek help for your child.
What you might not realize is a little preventative work with a child psychologist also offers potential benefits. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you had the chance to address potential developmental problems before they become actual developmental problems? Well, you do have that option. Remember, you do have access to resources to help you guide your child into adulthood.
To help you better understand how you can strengthen your child’s development while addressing potential issues through therapy, here is a list of 10 ways a child psychologist can help with your child’s development.
1. Teaching Life and Coping Skills
One thing that young children lack is the ability to identify, process, and deal with their thoughts and emotions. While these are things they will likely learn over time, time is not always something they have when emotional or mental problems are lurking. Working with a psychologist on addressing these shortfalls can help children stave off future problems.
The way most child psychologists address these shortfalls is to teach children certain skills. They teach them mental processing skills and subsequently teach them the appropriate life and coping skills needed to properly manage their thoughts and emotions.
2. Addressing Anxiety Concerns
Anxiety and worry for children are very dangerous issues. These issues can create sleeping and behavioral issues for kids who aren’t prepared to manage the anxiety they feel. Eventually, anxiety and worry issues can lead to social problems and difficulties in school.
The way a child psychologist can mediate these types of issues in children is to again teach them coping skills, plus:
- Help them learn how to regulate their emotions
- Teach them how to use relaxation exercises for anxiety relief
- Teach them how to relieve stress by employing good time management and organizational skills
3. Addressing, Sadness, Grief or Depression
Sadness, grief, and depression can be very debilitating emotions for children. It’s important to note that these kinds of emotions will usually evolve in children because of negative thoughts and feelings that result from abuse or tragedies.
A child psychologist will typically use evidence-based therapies to help children identify these negative emotions. When a child learns how to identify their negative thoughts and feeling, it becomes easier for them to understand through therapy how they can change the negative things they think or feel through coping mechanisms.
4. Dealing with Learning Disabilities
The way a child develops evolves from the way they learn. If a child struggles with a learning disability like dyslexia or the inability to organize thoughts, their learning will typically become stunted.
The earlier a psychologist can start working with a child who has a learning disability, the better. Early detection gives way to improved learning before subsequent emotional problems start to develop as well.
5. Helping the Child Prepare for Going to School
Not all children are created equal when it comes to being ready to start schooling. Some children develop faster than others. In order to avoid putting children in school before they are mentally and emotionally ready to attend, you as a parent need to know where your child stands.
A child psychologist can provide counseling and testing that will quantify a child’s capacity to learn. The psychologist knows what level children need to reach in order to enter school and have a reasonable chance of early success.
6. Teaching Organizational Skills
Teachers teach kids the basics. That means, reading, writing, science, and math. What they don’t have time to do is teach kids how to succeed in school. They can’t teach kids how to manage their time and stay organized. That creates an opening for a child psychologist to step in and help parents.
The psychologist’s charter would be to teach the child how to set goals and employ strategies to meet those goals. Clearly, these types of skills are useful far beyond the educational system. Setting and meeting goals are something all people have to be able to do if they expect to succeed in life.
7. Helping the Child Understand and Cope with Family Problems
Families have problems. Parents fight and sometimes, parents separate. A child does not have the capacity to understand the issues that create family unrest. What they need is the ability to cope with family problems without self-blame.
The value of a child psychologist is they can provide the child with impartial information related to what’s happening in the family. That usually includes making sure the child doesn’t feel responsible for the problems or feel the burden to fix the problems.
8. Teaching Stress Management Skills
Educational progress and testing are the top sources of stress in children of all ages. Sometimes, the stress evolves because a child is trying to live up to their parent’s expectations. The problem with stress is it decreases a child’s capacity to perform educationally.
A psychologist who specializes in educational psychology will have techniques to help children learn to keep their educational performance in perspective. They can also teach children mental relaxation exercises that can free the child’s mind to concentrate more effectively on the school learning process.
9. Helping the Child Deal with Anger and Behavioral Issues
Kids who have trouble with anger or behavioral issues aren’t bad kids. They are simply kids who are acting out inappropriately to feelings and emotions they find overwhelming.
It is the psychologist’s task to help identify the source of the child’s aggression or anger. By identifying the source, the psychologist can then counsel the child through the problem, bringing about anger and behavioral relief.
10. Teaching Social Skills
At all levels of development, the ability to socialize is of vital importance to a child’s happiness and ability to mature. The problem is some children don’t come by social skills as naturally as others. This often results in some children feeling ostracized by their peers.
Therapy and counseling can actually help children socialize more effectively. They can learn to play and communicate with people of all ages, which will usually translate into the child having happier and healthier relationships in adulthood.
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