March 16, 2007
March 16, 2007

Fix My Children

“Fix my child(ren).” is a plea which is requested frequently from parents who have youths in need. My response is “ The Parent(s) must come in first and describe the problem.” 99% hang up and never make an appointment. It occurred to me that parents need to be informed that the counselor is not an all seeing God and has no idea what the reasons are for inquiring for assistance.

Here are just a few of the possibilities beginning with the least problematic:
1. Discipline at home may not be consistent and helpful to develop appropriate behavior.
2. Family situations such as: death in the family or a friend, retaliatory divorce, incest, recent transfers to another school or location, etc.
3. Physical (as minute as poor eyesight to major health issues such as leukaemia, tourette syndrome, autism etc.) or mental disabilities (such as personality disorder, sleep related disorders, and more serious ones which I will leave unnamed).
4. School problems: bullies, a curriculum that does not compute with a child’s ability to learn.
5. Sexual or physical abuse from some source ( known or unknown).

Parents should arrive with medical, school assessments and outline the behavior that concerns them. Only then can the children be counseled and possibly referred to other medical professionals which will address the behavior systematically.

These parents who call appear to want to wash their hands of the responsibility of raising or aiding their children. It is not the counselor’s role to bring up these children, but to guide the caretakers in whatever direction is best suited for their child.

After an assessment of all the facts, the counselor may then find it in the best interest of the child to be seen personally. If not, the counselor will outline a plan that will ultimately guide the family toward a more healthy environment.