Children’s Issues & Parenting

Child Counseling Kirkland, Child Counseling Bellevue, Child Counseling Eastside, Parent Coaching Kirkland, Parent Coaching Bellevue, Parent Coaching Eastside

Remaining calm and connected to our children regardless of the level of stress is a skill that you can master.

 

The secret is fully understanding how you are “triggered” by your child and being able to stay attached in a positive way.

 
 

Are you concerned that your school-age child suffers from worry, anxiety, or perhaps even depression?

Does your child come home visibly upset but unable to tell you why? Does your child avoid seemingly normal social situations or make excuses to not participate in certain activities? Does your child express worries that you find hard to understand or that don’t really add up with his or her everyday life?

As a parent, you are likely aware of your child’s emotions and behaviors. If you have a sense that something seems off, your child might be suffering from excessive worry, anxiety, or depression. Although your child may not be able to directly communicate emotions or thoughts, there is help available. Children often end up “acting bad,” when they are feeling sad or scared. Children naturally want to co-operate so when this is not happening it tells us that something has simply gone wrong. The best thing you can do is to help your child work through these troubling thoughts and emotions.

Chances are that you yourself have also experienced worry and anxiety, or perhaps you have felt overwhelmed or depressed in the past – you might even think it’s normal for you and your child to feel these things. However, both children and parents can benefit from developing certain skills to healthily navigate their lives and emotions when times get stressful, and we at Day and Drummy can help.

What does my child need? What can I do to help?

I, Merrie Day, PhD, and my partner, Ken Drummy, MSW, have been helping families like yours for over 30 years. We can help you and your child understand how to develop self-esteem, assertiveness, and effective communication and problem solving skills. These skills help provide a strong emotional foundation for your child and you to more effectively deal with distressing and often disturbing thoughts and emotions. We also work one-on-one with parents to help guide and encourage beneficial parenting strategies.

If I need help parenting, I feel like I’ve failed my children.

Parenting is not easy, and seeking help is nothing to be ashamed of. You can read all the parenting books you want, but you will likely still find yourself struggling to figure out the best approach. If you are a nurturing and encouraging parent who wants to help improve your child’s life, you do not have to undertake this responsibility alone. We believe in positive parenting, and we want to help you further understand and implement the best approaches for your children.

We believe that you want the best for your child, and that you often relate to them in loving and connected ways. It is only when stress gets in the way that we see parents start to lose their natural connection to their children. This reads as parental frustration, irritation, annoyance, and anger at your children. In worst case situations, it may mean withdrawal from your kids—strong feelings of just wanting to get away. It could mean being out of control and yelling or wanting to hit your kids. We can help you change your responses to your children, no matter what has occurred.

I feel anxiety and worry, too—isn’t it just normal for kids to feel these things? Shouldn’t we just wait it out?

If your child experiences anxiety and worry, of course he or she is not alone. While most people experience these emotions at some point in their lives, worry and anxiety do not have to be your child’s dominant feelings! If your child is struggling with social situations or in school, he or she might be engaging in avoidance behaviors or be unable to focus on tasks because of excessive worry. In your busy life, it is easy to convince yourself that anxiety and stress are something you just have to deal with. If you believe this, your children probably do, too. We often forget that children’s brains are creating memory networks based on the day to day experiences they have. Children who show signs of anxiety and worry often have parents who behave similarly, since there is a genetic link. In fact, a depressed parent can absolutely affect the emotional balance of the child, since children often mirror the emotional state of their parents. But neither you nor your children have to suffer with these feelings, and we can help you both learn to overcome them.

It seems like my child has only recently begun to feel worried or anxious—If we seek help now, I’m worried he or she will feel stigmatized.

Typically, anxious and worried children (and adults) have learned to normalize their fears and irrational thoughts (such as, “nobody likes me,” when in fact the child does have friends), until they just get too overwhelmed to hide their distress. If you’re just now seeing signs that something is off, it’s likely that your child has been covering up his or her true feelings.

When they reach a breaking point, these children might think something is wrong with them and feel ashamed, which adds to their stressful situation. If you are worried that therapy will make your child feel judged, explain to him or her that working with us is a confidential tool that will help him or her feel better every day. Developing self-esteem, effective communication, assertiveness, and problem solving skills will help your child understand how to handle these situations, and they do not need to feel embarrassed or scared about seeking help.

Why Day and Drummy?

I, Merrie Day, have over 30 years experience as a child therapist and parent coach. I am trained as a Play Therapist and use this approach in my work with children. My partner, Ken Drummy, has over 30 years experience working with families and children in a variety of settings. He is also trained as a Play Therapist and utilizes this approach with children, making their sessions fun and engaging. We have helped parents, just like you, learn new ways to support your children to develop effective and proven life skills so they will grow up more equipped to be happy, healthy, and successful. Play Therapy is a proven method for working with children, and helps you as a parent become more involved in learning about your child and their psychological needs.

Our clients agree:

“It wasn’t until I started working with Merrie that I finally realized the better I took care of me, the more relaxed and happier my children became.” —S.C., Seattle

“Ken showed us how to better relate to our children, how to really ‘get them,’ which has proven over time to change our lives in the most positive ways.” —T.M., Bellevue

What’s Next?

Your child does not have to live in a world of worried and anxious thoughts, and you as a parent can learn how to assist your child through their stressful times. If you are ready to take the next step in helping your child, and perhaps even yourself, overcome worry and anxiety, we at Day and Drummy want to help. We have over 30 years experience of child counseling in the Kirkland, Bellevue, and Eastside area. If you think your child could benefit from additional, specialized, engaging attention, please call Merrie at (425) 747-0155 or Ken at (425) 895-7295 to schedule an appointment. If you’re unsure about which of us you’d like to work with, don’t worry! We are both happy to discuss your situation and help you make the best choice. If you are unsure whether therapy is necessary for your child, we are happy to spend time discussing your child’s particular needs with you so that you can make the best decision.