You have just started play therapy with your kiddo and you are feeling hopeful. You may have even seen some progress with their behaviors or emotions. However, you may be wondering “What else can I do outside of play therapy to support my child?” As a parent coach at Wellview Counseling, I have some tips to continue working with your child outside of the therapy setting.
Supporting your child outside of play therapy looks different for every family. However, there are a few things that are universal when it comes to supporting your child’s mental health journey.
It’s hard being a parent. It can be easy to get so wrapped up in taking care of your child that you forget to take care of yourself. However, it is so important to make sure that your needs and feelings are being met too. You can’t pour from an empty cup. To show up for your child in and outside of play therapy, you need to make sure you’re recharging your batteries. This can look like taking time for yourself to relax, going to therapy, or anything else that helps you feel like your best self. Asking for help from friends and family can also be a huge help.
You may be feeling guilty or feeling shame for needing time away from your kids to feel a sense of normalcy. However, it is important to remember that taking care of yourself is not selfish. When you’re at your best, you’ll be able to be more patient with your child and better equipped to handle whatever comes your way.
Normalize Emotions Outside of Play Therapy
As a parent coach may recommend, one of the best things you can do outside play therapy is normalizing your child’s emotions. Letting your child know that sometimes kids, and even adults, feel big emotions can be very helpful. It’s okay to feel angry, frustrated, or scared. However, it’s also okay to need some time away to process your emotions.
This can look like the parent and child engaging in a conflict where the parent and child are both feeling big emotions. This may be a great time for a break so both parties can cool down and process their emotions. Now, by a break, we are not wanting to punish your child for having big emotions. We just want to give everyone a break to calm down and think about what is going on. This is where a calm or safe place can come in for your child.
Safe or Calm Space
Having a space for your child to go to when they are working through big emotions or just want a minute alone is so important. This space can be anywhere your child feels safe. For example, this can be a corner of their room, under a table that they have made into a tent, or anywhere else that feels safe for them. It is a place where they can go to feel calm and work through whatever they are feeling at that moment.
This space is not meant to be a punishment. It is simply meant to provide a safe and calm place for your child to go when they need it. Creating this space for a break can help your child feel like their emotions are valid and that it’s okay to need some time to
calm down. Plus, when making this space, if you work together with your child to make it, it’s not only a bonding experience but your child then can take some ownership over their space.
No one said parenting was easy. However, you are not alone in this journey and a parent coach is here to help. Using the tips above can help you support your child in and outside of play therapy. But, also help them to feel supported, validated, and understood. Just remember, to validate your own emotions and take care of yourself too. Parenting is hard work, but you got this!
Begin Play Therapy and/or Parent Coaching in Roswell, GA
Our therapists at Wellview Counseling know your child is important to you and your family. That you want the best for them. And we’re here to help. But, we are also here to support you, too. We offer parent coaching to help you feel supported and equipped to handle whatever comes your way. Plus, we want to normalize that it’s okay to need help and to feel big emotions. If you’re interested in starting therapy or coaching:
- Contact Wellview Counseling
- Meet with our specialized play therapist and parent coaches
- Start supporting your child and yourself today!
Other Therapy Services Offered at Wellview Counseling
Starting play therapy for your child or parent coaching for you is a great way to support your family. But, there are other therapy services we offer at Wellview Counseling that can help you and your family feel supported. You may be seeking out counseling because as a parent with chronic health issues you are struggling to keep your cup full. Perhaps, you’re needing support with your past trauma and you’re worried about how it’s impacting your parenting. Maybe your family is needing to learn how to maintain healthy boundaries or process big emotions. No matter the situation you are facing, our specialized therapists are here to help you and your family. Our office is in Roswell, GA, but we also offer online therapy to anyone in Georgia. If you have questions or would like to schedule an appointment please feel welcome to reach out to us!
About the Author
Ashley Bobo is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and has worked in a variety of settings over the course of 20 years. Ashley understands wanting to support your loved one whether that’s in therapy or outside of it. This is why she works with parents and families to support their loved ones and has made parenting and family therapy two of her expertise areas.