Category Archives: Children Counseling

First Day Of School Prep For Anxious Children: Child Anxiety Counseling MI

school prep

The first day of school is scary for everyone, especially children with anxiety. Anxious children often need to be familiar with their surroundings in order to feel safe and calm. Getting thrown into the first day of school is the opposite of “familiar,” but there are some things you can do to make the process easier. Here are some school prep tips for children with anxiety, courtesy of our child anxiety counseling center in Michigan.

Tour The School Ahead Of Time

Most schools will have multiple opportunities for parents and students to tour the facility before the first day. Open houses, “meet the teacher” days, enrollment, orientation, and other events provide you with a chance to take your child to school to get familiar with the rooms. Walk with your child to each of his or her classes. Find a path from each of those classes to the child’s locker, and go over that path several times. Ideally, you should make a couple visits to the school to ensure that your child remembers where the classes are, where his or her locker is, what the locker combination is, and where important parts of the school are (gym, cafeteria, etc.). You may get a few eye rolls from your child, but this prep work will make a big difference when school starts.

Get Into A School-Like Routine A Couple Weeks Before

Create a school-like schedule for your child before school actually starts. This will include a set bed time, wake up time, get ready time, etc. You should plan out meals as close to their school times as possible. If your child normally gets play time after school, you could set that up before school starts. The goal here is to get your child into a routine so the first day of school feels natural. Routines are very important for children with anxiety.

Don’t Wait Until The Last Minute To Buy School Supplies

If you wait until the last minute to buy school supplies, you may not be able to find everything you need before the first day. This means that your child will either show up to school empty-handed, or he or she will have to tell the teacher about the missing supplies. This is a lot of pressure for a child with anxiety.

Of course, some instances like this are unavoidable. If you cannot get all of your child’s school supplies in advance, contact the teacher(s) about the issue. See if there are any alternative supplies you can buy or if there will be ones available at the school. Taking this pressure off your child will once again allow him to focus on school itself.

Ask Your Child What He’s Most Nervous About – And Reassure Him Along The Way

Talk to your child before the first day of school to find out what he is most anxious about. Once you know his fears, you can work on conquering them before school starts. For instance, if your child is worried about not having any friends at school, you could try to meet some other parents during the open house or parent teacher night. You could also encourage your child to play with other kids in the neighborhood around his age so he sees familiar faces in the halls.

There is always a way to combat a child’s anxiety. You just have to find it. By working with one of our child anxiety counselors in Michigan, you can learn unique techniques to reduce your child’s anxiety symptoms. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to learn more.

Using Summer Reading For ADHD Treatment: MI ADHD Counseling

reading adhd treatment

School’s out, but that doesn’t mean your child’s learning has to stop. The summer is a great time to work on subjects your child may have struggled with. For children with ADHD, one of the biggest challenges is reading. Their short attention spans and inability to focus make it difficult to read more than a few sentences on a page.

In this guide, we will help you set up a summer reading program for ADHD treatment so your child is ready for the upcoming school year.

Make Books A Prominent Part Of Your Home

There are plenty of ways to get books for your child. You could buy them from a used book store or check them out for free at the library. You could also talk to other parents about sharing books over the summer, which you could exchange during play dates. The goal here is to make books seem like a normal part of the day – they’re always around and they’re always accessible. This plants the seed that reading is a “normal” activity and may encourage your child to start reading on his or her own.

Create A Family Reading Schedule

Reading should be part of family time. Instead of watching three shows at the end of the night, watch two and spend the remaining time reading a book together. If your child is nervous about reading in front of you, alternate who reads what. For instance, you may read a page and have your child read the next page. If your child is reading chapter books, you may read a chapter and have him read a chapter. You could also plan for 1-2 chapters a night and alternate who reads each night.

The possibilities are endless. By staying involved with your child’s reading, you make the process seem less like learning and more like fun. If you can maintain a positive attitude toward reading during the school year, your child will be set for success.

Set A Good Example – Read In Front Of Your Kids

Children want to follow in their parents’ footsteps. If they see you reading, they will naturally want to read more. Look over the morning newspaper or read a book at night before bed. You may be surprised by how much you enjoy it!

Avoid Electronic Reading Devices

You can read books on tablets, e-readers and smartphones, but that is not ideal for ADHD treatment. The screens on electronic devices reduce a child’s ability to focus, even if they are reading an e-book. Encourage your child to read physical books as much as possible. You could make a weekly trip to the library to pick out a new set of books. It’s a fun activity for the whole family.

Talk To Your ADHD Counselor

Your child’s ADHD counselor may have even more tips and tricks for you. Your counselor understands your child’s unique symptoms and personality. He or she can help you make a plan for your child’s summer reading program. Relax and have fun over the next few months, but don’t forget to add a little education into the mix. It will do wonders for your child when the fall comes.

 

Do Fidget Spinners Help ADHD? ADHD Treatment In Michigan

fidget spinner adhd

Fidget spinners are the hottest new toy to hit the market. Stores and manufacturers alike are promoting these devices as tools for ADHD treatment, autism treatment, anxiety treatment, and much more. The question is: do they actually work? Will fidget spinners reduce ADHD symptoms and improve your ability to focus?

There Is NO Scientific Evidence To Support These Claims

At this time, there is no scientific research to suggest that fidget spinners help ADHD, autism or anxiety. This is not to say that there are no benefits. There just isn’t evidence at this time to support that claim. The companies marketing fidget spinners as ADHD treatment devices are not accurately representing their product based on the research available today.

Fidget Spinners May Make ADHD Symptoms Worse

Some patients say they feel calm with fidget spinners in their hand. This is similar to a person using a stress ball to take their mind off a situation. However, most fidget spinners are noisy. They create a whirring sound that can be highly distracting, either for the person using the spinner or someone else in the room. If a spinner is moving around someone who has ADHD, that person may lose focus on their current tasks or conversations. In other words, someone else’s fidget spinner could be a big distraction for an ADHD sufferer.

No One Knows The Long-Term Effects Of Fidget Spinners

Because there are no scientific studies on fidget spinners, there is no way to tell how effective or harmful they are in the long term. Someone who uses their spinner multiple times a day could turn this into a habit: a potentially unproductive one. Nail biting, chewing on pencils, clicking pens – these are all bad habits that people use to calm their nerves. Fidget spinners may fall into this same category over time.

Get Tested And Proven ADHD Treatment

You don’t have to fall for the latest fad. There are plenty of effective ADHD treatments that have been clinically tested over time. Our ADHD treatment center in Michigan has helped hundreds of people overcome their symptoms and improve their quality of life. Each person has a unique set of circumstances, which means that your treatment program may be different than someone else’s. We will create a custom ADHD therapy program specifically for your symptoms and lifestyle.

Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan to learn more.

5 Summertime Tips for Positive Mental Health

Between school, sports and other activities, the time between September and June can be overwhelming.   Summer is almost here!!! Now is the time to slow down a bit, enjoy the weather and take some time off.

Summer is also a good time to keep in mind some simple skills to improve mental health and resiliency before the busyness of September arrives again. Here are 5 tips to maintain positive mental health in kids this summer:

  1. Engage in a variety of activities. Variety is the spice of life. Variety stimulates brain activity, creates a well-rounded individual, and encourages social and emotional development. If a child engages in a variety of activities on a regular basis, they have more of an opportunity to develop a wider range of interests. Having a wide range of interests is something that can make finding and keeping friends easier. It also is a great way to cure boredom. Choose an activity from each of the following categories:

    Cognitive: reading, math, mind exercises, trivia games, crossword puzzles, geography games, science experiments)

    Physical: exercise, sports, bike riding, skateboarding, walking, hiking, swimming

    Creative: arts and crafts, imaginative play, dancing, acting, music, singing

    Reflective: time spent in nature, spiritual, talking with others, goal setting and planning, visiting a museum

  1. Promote balance. Creating a balance between school, leisure activities, sports, family, friends, chores and all the other areas of life can be challenging for a child and their parents. One of the biggest challenges parents have is helping their child engage in other activities besides their preferred activity. Video games and social media seem to be the most common preferred activities and the biggest source of conflict and disagreement. Balance helps us maintain good mental health as well as physical health. Teaching this skill early and modeling it consistently are two important ways to get kids to make it a part of their routine. Have children change activities at least every 2-3 hours; alternate between sedentary activity and movement activities. Also, alternate between solitary activities and those that involve engagement with other people.
  1. Maintain a healthy sleep schedule. Just because kids and teens CAN sleep in and stay up late because they don’t have to get up early for school doesn’t mean they SHOULD. Keeping a regular sleep schedule and maintaining good sleep hygiene will contribute to a more even mood pattern and lower the likelihood of tantrums/outbursts/meltdowns, as well as make the transition to a new school year easier.
  1. Learn a relaxation strategy. Learning to relax is a skill that benefits children, teenagers and adults. Deep breathing is a healthy way to reduce stress and anxiety.   Begin by breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe from your diaphragm. Count to 3 slowly as you breathe in. Count to 5 as you breathe out. Do at least 10 breaths each time you practice.
  1. Join a group or camp. Summer is a great time to practice social skills like taking turns in conversations, recognizing social cues, conflict resolution and working with others. Summer is packed with opportunities to attend a camp or sign up for a group. Also, get a head start by joining a summer therapy group to gain skills and be ready for the new school year!

If you or someone you know could benefit from one of the many services offered by Perspectives, call 248-244-8644.

Channeling Your Child’s ADHD Energy: Michigan ADHD Treatment

adhd energy

Children are naturally hyperactive. A child with ADHD has even more energy than a child without ADHD. As a parent, you may struggle to control your child’s symptoms in a healthy, effective manner. In the suggestions below, we will review some great ways to channel your child’s energy and reduce ADHD symptoms.

Limit Time With Electronics

Electronics are mentally stimulating, but not necessarily in a good way. The rapid motions on a TV screen or video game can hinder a child’s ability to focus and learn. If your child spends a great deal of time on a playing video games, watching TV shows, or using apps, you may want to scale that back. Encourage outdoor activity as much as possible, and set structured timeframes for the TV, computer, gaming console, etc. You may deal with some rebuttal at first, but ultimately this is what’s best for your child.

Find Physical Activities Your Child Enjoys

Playing sports, dancing, cheerleading, swimming – these are all positive ways to channel ADHD energy. Every child is different, so it may take some time to find a physical activity your child enjoys. Talk to your child about sports he or she is interested in, or get a trampoline to put in the backyard. Something as simple as bouncing around for an hour can quickly wear off excessive energy.

Have Conversations With Your Child

After a long day at work, the last thing you probably want to do is talk to an 8 year old about his day. However, those little conversations will do wonders for your child’s ADHD symptoms. Ask your child what he or she did throughout the day, and react positively when a physical activity is mentioned. That sends a positive message that will encourage your child to move around more in the future.

You may not think talking is channeling energy, but for kids with ADHD, it is highly effective. These children often feel neglected during the day because they have so much going on in their minds. As you talk to each other, your child will learn how to focus and how to recall past memories. He will be working on his ADHD symptoms without even realizing it! And you will create a lasting bond that improves your relationship as a whole. Everybody wins.

Work With An ADHD Counselor

A professional ADHD counselor can help you gain a better understanding of how your child’s mind works and how you can adjust to that. Small differences in your schedule, your conversations, and your lifestyle will help your child in all areas of life. Your therapist will also help you, the parent, deal with the stress and frustration that often comes with ADHD. Contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers to schedule an appointment with an ADHD therapist in Michigan, and we will gladly help your family through this energy-filled development period.

Temper Tantrum Or Parenting Concern? Interpreting Your Child’s Fits

temper tantrum

Temper tantrums are common during a child’s toddler years, but they happen at any age. Even adults throw fits at times when they don’t get what they want. They just have a better way of controlling their emotions and reactions. Some temper tantrums are signs of underlying issues that need to be dealt with. Others are simply a child upset about not getting something. It’s up to you as the parent to determine which is which.

In this discussion, we will help you interpret your child’s fits so you can have a better understanding of what’s going on.

Sudden Changes In Mood Or Behavior

Is your child acting more irritable or demanding than he or she normally is? This may be due to hormonal changes that come with aging, but it could also be a sign of something else going on in the child’s life. For instance, if your son suddenly gets angry when you give him a hug in public, it may be because other children are picking on him at school. If your daughter gets mad that she cannot buy a certain outfit or phone accessory, it could also be the result of bullying.

There are a number of issues that can change a child’s mood and behavior unexpectedly – bullying, peer pressure, social media influences, fights with friends, stress about conflicts at home, etc. It’s not always easy to figure out what exactly is causing the change, but it is important to think about it. Try to determine the real reason why your child is behaving differently, and then do what you can to resolve the root of the problem.

Tantrums Of Entitlement

Some temper tantrums occur because a child thinks he or she is entitled to something you’re not giving out. For example, your child may throw a fit because you will not let him stay up past a certain hour on a school night. Tantrums of entitlement have become significantly more common over the last few decades because of influences in television and on the internet. Children see a show like Toddlers and Tiaras or Super Sweet 16 and they think they should have the same lavish lifestyle that those children are getting. Not only is that unreasonable, but it’s also unrealistic.

You can limit the amount of influence your child gets from these programs by setting controls for what he or she watches. If you use a program like Hulu or Netflix, you can set controls to only allow certain categories of shows to display. Be careful about YouTube videos because ones that may seem innocent could be riddled with foul language and poor behavior that you might not want your child exposed to. As with anything in parenting, your best bet is to monitor what your child is watching and doing as closely as possible so you can make adjustments accordingly.

Setting Rules And Expectations

You may be able to prevent or reduce the severity of your child’s temper tantrums by setting clear rules and expectations in your house. Children thrive in a structured environment where events occur on a consistent, predictable schedule. School work must be completed before play time. Your child gets a small snack after coming home from school. Bedtime is the same every night. TV time is the same every night…You get the idea. This structure will make your child less likely to want the things he or she cannot have because you have already instilled guidelines to follow.

Working With a Child Counselor To Interpret Tantrums

If you are having trouble getting through to your child or you just can’t figure out the reasons for his or her behavior, a child counselor from Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan would be more than happy to assist you. Our family counselors and child therapists specialize in various areas of mental health and behavioral development. We will pair you with the best counselor for your unique situation so you and your child can get the help you need. Learn valuable skills that will help your child grow into the successful, happy and healthy person you’ve always wanted him to be.

MI Child Counseling: When Do Children Stop Believing In Santa Claus?

santa claus

Santa Claus, Kris Kringle, Jolly Old Saint Nicholas – whatever title you call him in your household, chances are Santa has played a role in your child’s life. A staggering 83% of five year olds in America believe in Santa, but that number drops to 33% for nine year olds. This brings up an important question: When do children stop believing in Santa Claus? What should I do to help my child during this transition? Here are some answers from our child counselors in Michigan.

When Do Most Children Stop Believing In Santa Claus?

There are several different circumstances that influence a child’s belief (or non-belief) in Santa. For instance, a child with older siblings may stop believing at a younger age because his brothers and sisters no longer believe. A child’s religion could also play a role in when he or she stops believing. About half of children across all religious groups stop believing between the ages of 5 and 8, while another third stop believing between 9 and 12. Our child may change his or her beliefs before or after those age groups – if he or she chooses to believe at all.

Signs Your Child No Longer Believes In Santa Claus

Most children will start asking questions when they no longer believe in Santa Claus. “Is Santa real?” “How does Santa accomplish X, Y, and Z?” The questions can come in many forms, but they are signs that your child is contemplating the concept of Santa.

Your child may also show resentment when you say something about Santa – “Mom, I know that was you.” Some children slowly transition out of the belief without any direct conversation about it. The parents just “know” and the children just “know.” There is no need for discussion.

What To Do When Your Child Asks Questions About Santa

You can choose how long you want to keep the magic alive in your household. If your child is older and is getting bullied at school for believing in Santa, you may need to have “the Santa talk.” Your family counselor or child counselor can help you through that process if your child is in therapy. Be as honest as you can, and respect any questions that your child asks you. Your child will be confused at first, but ultimately he or she will appreciate the honesty.

Use Holiday Breaks To Improve Your Child’s Grades: MI Child Counseling

improve childs grades

The first semester of school is coming to an end, and by now you have probably already seen a preview of your child’s grades. Poor academics can be caused by a number of issues, from anxiety to ADHD to bullying and beyond. Whatever the case may be, you can use your child’s holiday school breaks to help him or her get better grades and prepare for next semester. Here are some ideas to get you started.

Figure Out What Is Causing The Bad Grades

If your child’s grades are lower than expected, try to figure out what the source of the problem might be. Did your child change schools? Is he having trouble making friends? Is there a specific subject he’s struggling with? One of the child counselors at Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers in Michigan would be happy to work with your child to determine the root cause of his or her academic struggles. We have several mental health and behavioral experts who specialize in child academics. They will work with you to get your child back on the right track.

Ask The Teacher About Extra Credit Options

Some teachers will allow a child to improve his or her grades with extra credit work. Fall and winter breaks are great times for these projects because your child will have more free time throughout the day. Talk to your child’s instructor about extra credit options he or she may have, and do what you can to help along the way. Get the project completed early on in the break so you can look over it and make any adjustments necessary. You can use the remaining free time as a reward for your child’s hard work. It’s extra motivation to get the extra credit finished.

Get Ahead On Lessons

If you know what your child will be working on in the next few weeks or over the next semester, you can use this time to get a jump start on the material. Of course, if your child is behind on work, you might need to use the break to play catchup. What you work on will depend on your child’s grade level and attention span, but you should be able to get something accomplished. If not, make your own lessons! Read a book together, work on some spelling games, use math to bake holiday meals together – the possibilities are endless.

To learn more about how child counseling could improve your kid’s grades and academic performance, contact Perspectives Of Troy Counseling Centers at (248) 244-8644.

At-Home ADHD Treatments For Children In Michigan

at home adhd treatments

ADHD treatment starts at home. Even if your child is prescribed medication for his or her ADHD, the environment you create at home will make a big difference in his or her progress and success. As part of our ADHD therapy programs in Michigan, we recommend lifestyle adjustments parents can make to improve their child’s symptoms and experiences. Listed below are some at-home ADHD treatments you can use for your child.

Encourage Physical Activities And Exercise

Exercise is a natural treatment for ADHD. The dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin that the brain produce during physical activity are similar to what a child may get from ADHD medication. Of course, you don’t need a prescription to keep your kid active. All you need is a ball and a yard to play in. Find physical activities that your child is excited about – riding bikes, hiking, playing a sport, dance, martial arts, etc. There are many options out there, and all of them will help reduce your child’s ADHD symptoms.

Create A Consistent Meal And Snack Schedule

Creating a schedule for your child’s meals and snacks will help maintain his or her blood sugar levels, which play a role in your child’s ability to concentrate throughout the day. Try to plan meals and snacks no more than three hours apart from one another. For instance, you may have breakfast at 8 AM, lunch at 11 AM, a snack at 2 PM and dinner at 5 PM. If your child is hungry after dinner, you could plan another snack time before bed. The more consistent you are with this routine, the less irritable your child will be throughout the day.

Note that foods with protein and complex carbohydrates help to reduce hyperactivity in children. Try to plan a healthy, well-balanced diet for your child that is rich in iron, zinc, magnesium, and omega-3 fatty acids. All of these will do wonders for your child’s symptoms, and they will help control his or her weight at the same time.

Set A Strict Sleeping Schedule

Sleep plays a vital role in the brain’s ability to process thoughts and emotions. Even as an adult, you may notice that you feel tired and less alert when you have an irregular or insufficient sleeping schedule. These side effects are worse in children, especially those who suffer from ADHD. As part of your at-home ADHD treatment, set a strict sleeping schedule that allows your child to get plenty of rest for the following day.

Establish a regular bed time, and turn off all electronics at least an hour before bed (televisions, phones, tablets, etc.). Create a wind-down period that gets your child calm before bed, such as reading a book quietly or taking a bath. Limit physical activity in these late hours, and you should see great success with your sleeping arrangement.

Troy Family Counseling: Reconnecting With Your Child After A Fight

family counseling

Parenting is tough. That’s not a secret. Children and parents do not always see eye-to-eye, regardless of how old they are. Having a fight with your child is natural, but it is important to reconnect with him or her once the argument is over. This helps strengthen your family bond, and it emphasizes how important your child is in your life. Whether you’ve had a bad day or your child has been particularly defiant, you can use these tips from our Detroit family counseling center to reconnect with your child after a fight.

Approach With An Apology When Applicable

If the argument with your child started because you were feeling irritable, stressed, or overwhelmed, you can start the reconnection process with a simple apology. This shows that you are accountable for your actions, which will teach your child to behave the same in the future. For instance, you may say something along the lines of, “I’m sorry for reacting the way I did. I should have given you a chance to explain the entire situation to me. I’m ready to listen now.”

Of course, you don’t have to apologize in every situation. If your child was blatantly in the wrong, you have every right to be upset and disciplinary to prevent your child from doing or saying the same thing again. With that in mind, make sure you take time to assess how you personally contributed to the start or escalation of the argument so you can own up to your actions just like you would want your child to own up to his or hers.

Have A Do-Over

Life doesn’t always give you second chances, but families do. One of the beauties of the unconditional love between a parent and child is the fact that you can re-do mistakes without judgment from your family member. In this case, you may want to have a simple do-over. After cooling off for a moment, you can talk to your child about how the argument got out of hand and agree to a “truce” of sorts. “Hey, can we start over? I don’t think we took the right approach to this.” As long as you both enter the new conversation with an open mind, you should have a positive result.

If you feel yourself getting upset once again in your do-over, try to control your tone and phrasing. Your child will feed off your emotions, so it is best to keep them as calm and approachable as possible.

Hug It Out

Children often need a physical reconnection after an argument – something that validates that you still love them and everything is going to be alright. Think back to episodes of The Brady Bunch or Full House where family members hug one another after a disagreement. This may seem silly on television, but it does wonders for helping a family stay connected after an argument. No matter what happened between you and your child, a loving hug may be able to take the tension away.

If you are not in the mood for a full-blown hug, you may be able to establish that physical connection by sitting next to your child and reading a book. You may give your child a kiss on the head and talk about how you don’t like arguing with him or her. The end goal is to help your child realize that even when you’re mad at one another, there is still plenty of love to go around.

Find A Middle Ground

There is always room for negotiation, whether you’re talking to a toddler or a teenager. One of the biggest processes we work on in our Metro Detroit family counseling programs is helping families learn how to communicate with one another. Parents must learn to listen to their children just as much as children must listen to their parents. It’s all about finding a middle ground without necessarily giving in to your child’s every request. Ask your child what he or she thinks a good compromise would be: “I want this right now, but you want that. What do you think we can do so both of us are happy?” Hopefully the two of you can come up with a winning plan for everyone.

Identify The Root Cause Of The Argument

What is really going on here? What’s the bottom line? Your child may seem upset about one thing, when really it is a reaction to something else going on. For instance, you getting upset about his or her bad grades may spark an argument because the bad grades are the result of bullying or childhood anxiety. These underlying causes aren’t always easy to pinpoint, but they will do wonders for helping you connect with your child. In every situation, try to figure out what the real issue is behind the anger, defiance, or outburst, and then work on ways to fix that problem moving forward. Your child counselor in Metro Detroit can help you work through these issues as a family so you can see success as quickly as possible.