Thank you for sharing your kid and bringing a therapist into their lives. As a parent, you have been caring for this person for so long. You got through the long nights with them as a baby. You helped them through their first feelings. You taught them what the world was. I’m so grateful for that foundation and love you laid out. You helped them through their first disappointments, nightmares and scary moment. You held them tight. You know all their parts: the ones that are easy to love and get excited about, and the hard ones when they were, well, being a kid.
And now, you need more help. It was not easy to call me to meet your kid. It never is. As a parent, it’s the hardest thing in the world to see your kid struggle and know that they need some help, but not be sure exactly what will help they need. When things are simple, it’s easy to help, but it can get more and more complicated to talk to your kid about going to school, managing social groups, who they are, sadness, and anger. These topics are hard for us to talk about as adults! This might be made even more challenging if your kid is pulling away from talking with you.
However, you saw that they needed another adult in their life at this time–someone else they can tell what’s going on and how they’re trying to put it all together in their own kid way. This is a huge step. Not only did you help me big time in getting to know your kid, giving me a window into their complexities, you also let me get close to your kid. You may not have initially anticipated how close I’d need to get to help. We played together and talked about what’s going on at school, fights with their siblings, and even, sometimes, you as a parent.
I know this isn’t easy. It can feel weird to have a therapist be “in the family.” You took a risk too. Not only by allowing me to get close to your kid, but in letting me get close to you, as a parent and as a family. Sometimes I’ve called out changes that need to be made in how the family operates. Other times, we discovered together that there are some things that you, as a parent or parents, don’t yet know how to do. That’s okay. Therapy with your kid doesn’t just mean learning to tolerate your kid’s stage of development, it also involves parents making changes. It is brave to let yourself be vulnerable in this way.