Monday, March 16, 2015

How to Help an Extremely Defiant Child. Part One

Many people who know me know I have been going back and forth with my eldest daughter Jasmine for years. She has her ways of being extremely defiant. By extreme I mean almost never listening to any authority figure at all, especially her parents. She was recently diagnosed with having a disorder, for this reason. I often find myself lost in trying to figure out ways to keep her under control, and so I turn to her doctors a lot for help.

If you have a child like mine, I know from experience that it can be extremely difficult and a lot of the time parents don't know where to start getting help for it. I was fortunate enough to notice something was going on with my son also and started having early on service come into my home and see how Jasmine was acting and they pointed me in the right direction to get the help she needed.

The first step I took on my road with Jasmine was to find her a good counselor. This took multiple times meeting different ones to find one that meshed well with Jasmine. The point though with counseling is not for parents to find out what is going on with their children. Rather that your child finds out what is going on with them and find coping skills to get through whatever it is that they are going through. Jasmine found one about a year ago that she really enjoyed seeing, but then that person found a new job and moved on. Then we were back in the search again for someone she could talk to. I don't mean to be harsh on this at all, but, to be honest, there are a lot of reasons children feel more comfortable talking to someone else about things that are going on in their lives other than their parents. A lot of them have nothing to do with parenting skills at all. So I would just like to say, you should never blame yourself. If your child has an issue they are unable to deal with, that is their issue, not yours. That was something that took me a long time to deal with myself. I tended to always put the blame on myself. Saying things like " Oh, I should have done that or this, I shouldn't have done this or that."  None of the putting blame game will help at all. If they are unable to talk to you, the best thing you can do for them is to find someone else to talk to.

Finding the right person though is the trick. Sure your child could talk to anyone, their friends, friends parents, a family member etc. That is completely fine, although if you do take this approach you might find that it wasn't the best idea. Your really going to want someone skilled in the art that is talking to someone and giving advice to a child in an appropriate manner. That definitely means seeking out a professional.

This is just the first step, there are more to come and I'll continue to talk about that in a later post. They say that the first step is always the hardest. I will say that this is going to be the hardest part.

Ways to seek out a counselor.

  • Talk to your child's school social worker. That is why they are there, it is their job to ensure all the children there receive help where it is needed. That includes in their home life as well as at school.
  • Talk to your child's Family doctor. They can definitely point you in the right direction to a therapist that specializes in children.
  • Make an appointment at you local community mental health organization. They will be able to help you find other services as well, not just a counselor. They are also there to help and give you information that is out there about services you and your child can receive. 
  • Talk to your friends who also have children. I know this can be at times a little uncomfortable, but you will be surprised at the fact your not the only one who is trying to get help for their child. They may have a referral for you from experience.
I do not recommend looking in a phone book. While you might find one that way really quickly, more often than not this approach will make finding the right person a lot harder. It is best to get a referral from someone who already knows about your child and some of their medical background.

I really hope this can help someone out who is completely lost on what to do. Remember that is will be the first step and also the most important one.

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