Parent & Children Overview

Supporting parents to support children

A child is very much influenced by the people and environment around her or him. At times, to get the most out of therapy, it is important we work with others in the child’s life. This may mean that we need to have some time alone with the parents to discuss the problem and to give them ideas for responding to the child when they are having problems.

This may be a separate appointments or a part of your child’s session where the child shares with you what he or she has learned and what help they need form you to practice. Sometimes, it is useful for us to work with teachers, too.

It can be frustrating for a parent of a “naughty” child to have them behave so beautifully in a psychology session.

Most often a child does not have problems in the therapy room – problems usually exist in the child’s life outside of therapy – so, we need to be clever about the ways we help the child transfer their new skills to the real world.

Parents are often involved in the “homework” parts of therapy to help the family transition to managing the problems by themselves.tablet-boy

Struggling with parenting

Sometimes parents can have difficulties parenting their children. Bendigo Psychology can provide assessments of parental capacity, bonding and attachment. These assessments can help pinpoint the issues that are affecting parenting and make it easier to pinpoint ways that parents can be helped.

Improving parenting skills

Settling your baby

Identifying Issues

Children are resilient

Children and families can be remarkably resilient. We need to be careful not to contaminate them with our worries that they won’t cope. It can be tricky to work out when a child needs extra help and when they are managing in a healthy way.

Is the problem interfering with day to day health and happiness of your child?

Generally, we believe that if a problem is interfering with a child’s day to day life and their general health and happiness, they may require some extra help. It can be a problem if your child has fears that mean that he can’t manage a sleepover with friends. Or, if your child has become aggressive at school and has been suspended, then this is probably a problem that needs some help.

Is the problem persisting or recurring?

Also, if a problem appears to be persisting over time or recurring, then the child may be stuck and could use some extra help.

What is age appropriate behaviour?

While there is no such thing as a “normal” child, it is important to know roughly what can be expected for children at different stages of their development. It may be age-appropriate that your 3 year old is scared of Santa, but it is unusual for an 8 year old to have that problem.

What issues can arise?


Determining whether an issue is of clinical concern is very much dependent on what is expected of a child at each stage of development. As children grow, learn and adjust, the concerns that they may display can vary - some may be normal for certain ages and others may need a little extra help.


Birth, babies and toddlers

Some children and families can use some extra support from the beginning:

  • Coping with a traumatic birth
  • Settling new babies
  • Establishing sleep
  • Developmental Delays and Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Concerns
  • Tantrums and naughtiness
  • Toileting issues
  • School readiness

School age children

Once at school, children may need to learn ways to deal with:

  • Anxiety and worry
  • Fears and phobias
  • Sadness and withdrawal
  • School avoidance
  • Friendships and getting along skills
  • Bullying
  • Anger
  • Coping with hospitalisation

Teenage years

Into the teen years, children can sometimes use some extra help with:

  • Friendships and Assertion
  • Overcoming problems with perfectionism
  • Eating and body image problems
  • Painful teen conflict and anger
  • Mood problems
  • School or exam stress
  • Emerging sexuality and relationship issues
  • Self harm
  • Offending issues or trouble with the Law

Any point in a childs life

Then there are some problems that can arise at any point in a child’s life:

  • Loss of a parent or other family member
  • Health problems or hospitalisation
  • An acquired brain injury (ABI)
  • Having a parent with mental health problems
  • Family break down or step family issues
  • Family violence
  • Events such as accidents, storms, fires or drought