Counseling For Parents Who Don’t Get Why Kids Keep Breaking Rules

Since my sister and I had a 13-year age gap, my parents only had a grandchild for many years. Sophie was the sweetest baby in our eyes, considering she hardly cried like a banshee whether she needed a diaper change, food, or sleep. She did not go through that reversed sleep routine and allowed my sister and her husband to get a lot of sleep even during the first few months of infancy. And since girls were naturally not big on physical activities, my sister said that she never had to run after her at crowded places.

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However, there was a time when the news about several public schools being hijacked by kids with guns explosives broke out. My niece was only in preschool at the time, but my sister had a friend whose kid went to one of those schools. It seemed to traumatize my sister to the extent that she became a strict parent.

This strictness started by limiting the number of times that my niece could go to the toy store. Even if my parents would offer to do that, my sister tends to refuse most of the time, especially if she was not there. It hurt my parents a little at first because it seemed like my sister did not trust them to take care of their granddaughter, but they eventually understood that she was merely protective of her kid.

My sister also limited the number of park visits that my niece could do, even if available. The reason was that she was afraid of exposing her daughter to ill-mannered children. So if my niece wanted to play with her friends, their parents would have to drop them off at their house. This way, my sister could ensure that Sophie would not be able to mingle with strangers.

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These things made a little girl slightly confused, but it did not bother her too much since she was still technically a baby. After that, however, the situation began going sideways as Sophie grew older.

When The Rebellion Started

Since I did my counseling practice in another state, I could not always go home to see my family. I could only talk to them over the phone sometimes. During one of those calls, I was asking my sister how Sophie was doing.

In the past, my sister was like a typical mother who was so proud of her child felt she could not stop talking about Sophie’s achievements. No matter how small it was, she would be boasting about it. However, Sophie was closer to the puberty age than ever, and my sister replied with a sigh.

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I knew from that reaction that something was wrong, so I encouraged my sister to talk about it. After all, what’s good in having a counselor for a family member if she could not use my services? My sister hesitated a little at first, but she soon revealed that my niece started to rebel against my sister’s rules.

For instance, my sister sent Sophie to an all-girls school and signed her up for private transportation to and from school to not have to take the public bus and mingle with some kids from the public school. But she said that there were already several times when the driver would call her at work and say that Sophie was no longer on the campus, and no one knew where to find her. Then, Sophie would come home and tell her that she took the public bus and even befriended some children from other schools.

My sister was also adamant about her daughter being a straight-A student and joining all the possible clubs and competitions at school. Sophie did that for a few years, but she seemed to question that because she was getting tired of doing so much every day. However, my sister would not let her stop, so the little girl would make excuses to have some free time.

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My View

My sister asked me if I could give counseling to Sophie. I said, “Sure, but I think you need counseling more than her.” That surprised my sister, considering she did not think there was anything wrong with her parenting style.

“What you are doing is one example of helicopter parenting. You want to dictate every single thing that your child could do. It was acceptable when she was much younger, but now that she’s about to become a teenager, it might make her feel like you don’t trust her or that you are living through her. That’s probably one of the reasons why she’s rebelling against you,” I explained lengthily.

My words allowed my sister to view the situation from another perspective. Of course, it was not easy for her to accept that she was wrong and that she might be doing more harm to her child than good. But when she finally got it, she loosened the reins on her daughter significantly. Their relationship improved at once, and her daughter started confiding in her.

Final Thoughts

I hope this has helped you understand why kids break the rules, even if they are for their own good.

Counseling For Kids Who Don’t Understand Strict Parents

Ever since I went to college, I made sure that I was doing everything that I could be proud of. I was not afraid of making mistakes, but I always ensured to learn from them, not to repeat them. I believe that that’s one of the major reasons why I became a successful counselor almost as soon as I got my license.

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The thing was, I was nothing like that when I was a child. In truth, I used to be a hard-headed little girl who felt upset towards my parents for being stricter than everybody else’s parents. For instance, while the other kids were allowed to do sleepovers or play dates at the park independently, I could do neither of them. Some parents let their children sleep anytime they wanted on the weekend, but my mom and dad stuck to a strict rule of a 9 o’clock bedtime even on Saturdays and Sundays.

Whenever I asked my parents why they always acted like that, they said that it was for my own good. But it did not feel like it. My mom and dad were merely restricting me from doing fun things in my rebellious mind because they could. After all, they were the bosses in the house, and I was nothing but a freeloader. I assumed the worst of my parents in the past, and I still felt shame whenever I remembered the things I said about them, even if they were only in my head.

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Fast Forward To Present

Now, with a child psychologist for a husband, I knew that strict parenting did not die in the 80s. If I was honest, people managed to develop other names for it, such as helicopter parenting or tiger parenting. Of course, more children acted like I did and resented their parents so much that they needed mental help.

Since my husband and I technically worked in tandem, he would send his young clients to me for counseling treatment. During the consultation process, it was common for the parents to want to be in the same room because they wanted to know what’s up with their kids. However, I knew from experience that letting them do that nearly ensured that the children would remain mum. As much as they hated their parents’ rules, they also wanted to avoid confronting them. Hence, to make both parties happy, I would do a one-on-one session with the child and then meet the parents afterward to let them know about my observations.

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Counseling A Child From A Strict Household

Once the parents were out of earshot, the children found it a little more natural to talk about them. They would start with complaints about how their parents embarrass them for thinking that they needed a chaperone. Then, with a bit of nudging, they would begin to air out all their issues towards their moms and dads.

However, I often felt the need to clarify to those children that we were not there to spend one or two hours’ worth of sessions talking about how awful their parents were. I would deviate the topic to, “Why do you think your parents do all those things?”

The kids would cross their arms and reply, “I don’t know; you should ask them.” Eventually, they would start coming up with possible ideas why their parents are so strict. For example, “Well, we live in a scary neighborhood.” “They don’t want me to be friends with bad influences.” “They know I get cranky when I don’t get enough sleep.”

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Then, I’d say, “If you think about it from your parents’ point of view, they cherished you since your birth to the extent that they would not let you out of their sight for at least a minute. And it’s also possible that they want to trust you but not the people you want to be with, which is common among all parents. So the moment they stop caring about what you do or who you are with, that’s when you need to worry because it most likely means that they no longer care for you.”

Final Thoughts

It takes a few sessions before the children could understand that their parents’ strictness was not a result of ego-tripping. Some moms and dads were merely more protective of their kids than others, which should be okay when they had a reason to do so. I also tell the children, “We need to listen to our parents because they have a lot of experience compared to us. Not everything may be fun, but they only think of the best thing for you in the long run.”

When the sessions end, I will get calls from the parents a few months later, thanking me because of how much their familial relationship improved. However, I would always counter that they should thank their children instead of opening their minds and understanding adults.

Frequently Asked Questions About Anxiety During Pregnancy

As a woman, I know that one of my primary roles is to give birth. That is why I take so much care of the baby inside my womb. As much as reasonable, I always try my best to become healthy inside and out. However, despite my effort to keep my physical aspects in good condition, I still can’t seem to control the problems concerning my emotional and mental health.

A pregnant woman like me often tends to overthink. At times, I feel entirely low and sad, even for no particular reason. I often have these emotional dilemmas that I do not know where the heck came from. In some instances, I usually find myself crying just because I want to. There is much stuff going on in my head, and I can’t entirely understand their purpose. All that I can think of is that they exist.

Sometimes, there are moments that I feel intensely scared of my pregnancy. I often thought about a lot of what-ifs. I’m not sure what this could mean, but I know I am dealing with a mental health condition called anxiety. With this certain mental health issue, I become more drawn into knowing what this is all about and how it can affect my baby and me.

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Can anxiety during pregnancy affect the baby?

Unfortunately, high levels of anxiety can have a damaging effect on a pregnant mother and her baby. It can results in the loss of the fetus during the early stages of pregnancy. And in the second and third trimesters, it can lead to a decrease in birth weight.

I can’t help but wonder how I should get over my mental health situation with that information. I do not want to suffer from any complications. Not right now that I almost on my third trimesters.

 How can I calm my anxiety while pregnant?

The best anxiety treatments during pregnancy start with getting enough sleep. Pregnant mothers need to aim for at least seven to eight hours a night of sleep whenever possible. It is also advisable to eat more healthy and fresh foods. Pregnant mothers should also exercise from time to time and schedule a time for relaxation.

There should never be an excuse. You should not use your pregnant situation to avoid taking care of yourself. And the fact that you are carrying an unborn child is the more mere reason you do not take your mental health for granted.

 Can you take anti-anxiety while pregnant?

Generally, some antidepressants can help during pregnancy. Usually, the doctor can prescribe certain selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), including citalopram and sertraline.

But if you think you can manage your anxiety without any medication, that would be much better. It would be best not to take pills since there might be a chance that the medication might affect your unborn child.

 Can panic attacks cause miscarriage?

Yes. Panic attacks can impact pregnancy that can lead to miscarriage. Many studies have shown that anxiety and stress can increase women’s risk of pregnancy complications, including preterm delivery and giving birth to a low birth weight baby.

So when you experience panic attack symptoms, it is safe to consult your doctor right away.

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 What helps anxiety naturally?

To eliminate anxiety, a pregnant woman should always practice self-care. She needs to get enough sleep daily and regularly exercise lightly. It is essential for her and the baby to get enough nutrients too. Therefore, a pregnant woman should always eat healthy and fresh food such as vegetables and fruits. It is also vital to keep the body hydrated and avoid caffeine, sweets, and alcohol consumption.

Does CBD help anxiety?

Yes. CBD helps anxiety conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), general anxiety disorder (GAD), and social anxiety disorder (SAD). CBD also help treat anxiety-induced insomnia

 What anxiety does to the body?

Anxiety triggers the body’s flight-or-fight stress response, explaining why you experience certain feelings of nervousness, panic, and restlessness. The mental condition releases an extra amount of chemicals and hormones into your system, affecting your concentration and thinking. In some cases, anxiety can make you tremble, sweat, and hyperventilate.

 Does anxiety go away if you ignore it?

No. The relentless thoughts from negative things around you continue. Thus, ignoring your anxiety will never be helpful as it doesn’t just simply go away.

 How long should anxiety last?

Some moments of anxiety are more short-lived depending on the intensity of the stressful situation. Usually, anxiety can last anywhere from a few minutes to a few days. But for some people who experience the severity of the mental problem, these feelings of anxiety are more than just a mild sense of passing worries. If it stays longer, the possibility of turning into a disorder is at stake.

 What happens if anxiety is untreated?

Untreated anxiety complications can potentially lead to negative consequences that can extremely impact a person’s entire life. It can make them unable to go to school, work, and have social relationships with other people. It can even affect a person’s way of handling himself. It can put a person into a lot of complicated situations that can result in less self-awareness.

 What deficiency causes anxiety?

Most research suggests that having a vitamin D deficiency is linked with anxiety disorders. That is due to the lower levels of byproduct chemicals of vitamin D breakdown in the person’s body known as calcidiol.

 Can you rewire your brain from anxiety?

Yes. Recent studies show that the brain can be rewired through the process of neuroplasticity. It is a process that supports the deletion of means negative brain connections to improve further or even get rid of anxiety.

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 What is the 333 rule for anxiety?

A good way to instantly eliminate the overall impact of anxiety is through the practice of the 333 rule. It is where you look around your surroundings and name the first three things you see and hear. Lastly, move three parts of your body.

 Is there a chemical imbalance that causes anxiety?

Stress and anxiety cause an imbalance in the brain’s neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine, dopamine, serotonin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA). This chemical imbalance can occur when certain factors such as aging, diseases, chronic stress, injuries, and poor nutrition get present.

 How do I train my mind to stop anxiety?

You can always train your brain to stop anxiety. However, it would greatly help if you considered specific things. First, you should never figure things all by yourself. It is important to realize the significance of asking for help every time you need one. Be conscious of your intentions to get better. That way, you can encourage yourself to practice self-care and mindfulness.

Takeaway

Pregnancy is a very crucial stage. Thus it is significantly important not to let go of your control in your mental and emotional state as the damages in these aspects can greatly affect the unborn baby.

 

Mental Health Of An Adopted Child

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Every day there are new lives brought into this world, and every day there are parents who still yearn for a child. Some people are not as ready to become parents as some, while some parents feel an immense fear of child-rearing. To give you a fair idea on the matter, the United Nations Children’s Fund, more commonly known as UNICEF, estimates that there are 353,000 babies born every day. Every year, in the United States alone, there are 135,000 children put up for adoption.

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Family, Moving On With Life, And The Pandemic

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We all feel fortunate to be born into a family. It is where we start to define ourselves, our world, our values. It lays the foundation of our being, our thinking, our feeling, and becomes our guiding force in life. We all want to belong to a family. It holds great importance in our social life because it provides love and support. Family members are meant to be there for each other, help one another in times of need, and be happy with one another and celebrate success together.

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Helping Your Child Grow During Quarantine

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When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a kindergarten teacher, so I could spend time with kids and be able to teach them the things I knew. Basically, all I wanted was to see them grow and discover the things they were passionate about. Eventually, I realized that my heart was in a different place, and so I chose to spend time with my nieces and nephews, so at the very least, I could still see how they developed.

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Positive Parenting: Raising A Functional Teenager

When children grow as teenagers, most profound changes happen between the parent and teen relationship. It becomes more challenging for parents to interact with their children due to the limited amount of time they could spend together. Teenagers will go through a period when they try to act independently and assertive towards their parents. Teens would want to enjoy more with the privacy of their room, will be homeless often enjoying freedom with their friends and their social life.  

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Types Of Parenting And Their Effects On Children

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The way you handle your child is vital in determining what kind of person he becomes in the future. This is why you need to ensure yourself that your parenting style supports your child’s growth and development because how you discipline her and show her how much you love her through the way you are as a parent will affect her for the rest of her life.

The Four Parenting Styles

  1. Authoritative

The authoritative parent may sound like this:

  • When he informs his child of the rules, he explains them clearly.
  • He tries his best to create and keep a positive interaction with his child.
  • He is strict with his rules and implementing the consequences, but he considers his child’s feelings.

Are you authoritative? These kinds of parents are stringent, but they never forget to acknowledge his child’s suggestions. Although they want to be clear that they are completely in charge, they validate their child’s feelings and listen to what they have to say. They are also for positive reinforcement and discipline, such as implementing the reward and punishment system. Children whose parents are authoritative are reportedly happy and tend to be more successful in the future.

  1. Authoritarian

Authoritarian parents believe that:

  • Children should be visible only, but their words don’t matter.
  • Their feelings are not important and should not be considered.
  • Their rules are unbent and inconsiderate.

If you have been disciplining your child this way, then you are an authoritarian parent. You tend to force your kids to follow the rules without any exception. And if their kids ask them why, their famous line would be, “Because I said so.” Negotiation is a no-no, and obedience is a must without bending any rules. Children with authoritarian parents grow to have low self-esteem and have a likelihood of being aggressive and hostile.

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  1. Permissive

If you are a permissive parent, you tend to:

  • Rarely implement or establish consequences.
  • Not enforce the rules that you set for your child.
  • Let your child grow and learn with little supervision and monitoring from you.

Being permissive is actually being lenient, and they don’t stress themselves with petty issues but only come in when the problem is severe. Permissive parents are quite tolerant and believe that kids will always be kids, so they just let them. They are usually more comfortable with their children growing up feeling like they’re friends with them, but just as they are lenient, they don’t put in much effort in helping them solve their problems. Thus, they most often have weak and insecure kids – kids who exhibit unpleasant behavior and poor decision-making skills. Additionally, these kids don’t develop good hygiene.

  1. Uninvolved

As the statement implies, you:

  • Spend very little time with your child, even though you may have the time.
  • You don’t care about your child’s school, homework, friends, or anything that may concern him.
  • You don’t usually know what your child does when he’s at home, or where he goes when he’s not home.

Children whose parents are uninvolved lack parental attention, guidance, and nurturing. Thus, their kids are trying to raise themselves because their parents don’t have time to commit to their basic needs, and worse, some of them do not know much about child-rearing.

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Conclusion

There are times when parents don’t belong to the four types of styles, so don’t worry if there are instances or areas where you tend to be permissive or authoritarian. If you have the commitment and motivation to be the best parent you can be to your child, keep your mind open to suggestions and learn more about positive parenting. It’s not too late.