Happy Parents, Happy Children?
Is Putting Yourself First As a Parent Selfish?
Are your child’s reactions seemingly exaggerated or are they triggered by minor knocks that previously they might have let wash over them?
Are you at a loss over how to support your child with their angry outbursts, lack of confidence, low mood or anxiety?
Then you are not alone.
In July 2020 the ONS reported that 1 in 6 children and young people (age 5-16) were identified as having a probable mental health disorder and it is widely accepted that the figures have risen dramatically over the last decade and since the start of the pandemic.
So what is the best way we can help our struggling children?
It is a fact that children appear to be suffering with poor mental health in greater numbers and at an increasingly early age. There is much debate over the reasons for such a rise – to include increased recognition of mental health problems and more diagnoses alongside the increased pressures on children due to the pace of modern life, social media and academic expectations and performance measurement, but what can we as parents do to support them to become resilient teens and adults?
It is well established that a child’s brain is not fully developed until their early to mid-20s and through the teenage years, their brain goes through a massive rewiring process, which accounts for changes to their sleep patterns, the need for more sleep, occasional communication issues with adults (!) and the draw to risk-taking behaviours. However, our brains are constantly changing and a good number of essential pathways and resultant beliefs as adults are laid down as children.
Children learn through emotion and this can be seen in the most positive way – when they are engaged and excited in a task they appear to learn by osmosis, something that as adults we still wish we could do! However, children also exhibit negative behaviours often as a result of negative experiences or feelings about themselves. Children are therefore driven and led by their emotional or primitive brain with back up from their increased store of memories and experiences.
As adults, we aspire to function primarily from the intellectual part of our brain – the bit that is able to think and plan, be logical and rational and able to draw on our resources of knowledge, skills and abilities, but in children this part of the brain is yet to develop. This is why it is our job as parents to function as their intellectual mind and in time the child will learn (and wire) through such role modelled behaviour. This is the reason why it can be so helpful to work with the parents of the children exhibiting signs of anxiety and stress. If the parents are meant to be the child’s intellectual brain, how is this possible if the parent is so stressed that they are functioning primarily from their emotional primitive brain too?
This is where hypnotherapy comes in. As Solution Focused hypnotherapists we work from where you are now, without the need to dwell on past behaviours and enable the brain to start working towards becoming the best version of yourself. In understanding how the brain works and how the primitive brain can hijack our thinking and actions we can learn to find a different way to respond to the needs of our children. When we are operating from the intellectual part of the brain we will come up with the solution as this is where a wealth of resources can be located and utilised to our benefit and that of our children.
If you are stuck in knowing how best to support your child with their anxiety, perhaps it’s time to book your FREE initial consultation with your local Inspired to Change hypnotherapist.
About the Author: Emma Treby works with people online and face to face in our Mid-Devon clinic: “I specialise in helping clients who feel stuck and want to regain connection in their lives – with themselves, their family and their passions. I have a particular interest in supporting Highly Sensitive People who often come to my clinic with anxiety, a lack of confidence or concern about their own Highly Sensitive child and how to parent them in a way that enables them to thrive.”
Inspired to Change Hypnotherapists are all recognised by the National Council for Hypnotherapy, the UK’s leading not-for-profit hypnotherapy professional association.
To find out how you can train as a solution focused hypnotherapist click here for our hypnotherapy school information