The demands on us today are high – those of our children much higher. Extreme early childhood education, a busy schedule and a strong parental thinking can quickly put children to burnout and they do not work as they should. Does our child need a therapy?
Even though we are basically a free country, the definition of normality is quite narrow. Anyone who does not work and fits in harmoniously with our system and our value structure is quickly classified as disturbed – and thus in need of therapy. Especially children find it particularly quick and they are exposed to therapies that are sometimes helpful, but often more harmful than useful, because one thing is forgotten: the most important thing for a good development of the child is that it is loved and accepted as it is – and with all its special features.
Mental problems in children – rising?
The Professional Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry states that about 20% of all children and adolescents in Germany show psychic abnormalities. This can be aggression and refusal, but also depression or eating disorders. ADHD is one of the most commonly diagnosed problems. The causes of these abnormalities are complex and can be genetic or social. Children often react sensitively to their environment, pressure to perform or withdrawal of love, separations and accidents can have serious consequences. On the outside, one thing is clear: the child is no longer functioning properly and fulfilling the demands our society places on its members only inadequately. All too soon, parents often think of a therapy, because: The child is not “normal”.
When are we normal?
Being “normal” is often equated with unobtrusive in our social environment. Good grades, decent behavior and overall functioning within our rules and limits are considered normal and therefore correct. Many children fall out of this grid because our children are not “normal” in our adult sense. They are curious, wild, creative and inventive, also angry, aggressive and in the process of discovering themselves. If this joy of discovery goes beyond what we perceive as normal, then the stamp is conspicuously over-impressed. Parents are overwhelmed because their expectations are not met, negative feedback from the environment to inappropriate behavior of the child provides additional uncertainty. Worried parents only want one thing: that their child gets involved. With that, they hope
Highly intelligent and highly sensitive
Children who are conspicuous for their environment are in many cases anything but disturbed. You may just be bored or see the world differently – as is often the case with highly gifted children. Children who are obviously “unable to cope” with the environment are often highly sensitive, meaning that they can not hide and process environmental stimuli as easily as other people. This sensitivity can refer to sounds and smells, emotions or all sensory impressions. If such a sensitive child does not have enough rest, it will lead to over-stimulation and it will become aggressive, depressive or compensate for the overload of movement and wildness. Is that why a child needs therapy? Or rather understanding parents who know their special needs,
When a therapy makes sense
In the traditional sense, a therapy is meant to change a person and help him adapt to the environment. A good therapy ensures that a child does not have to suppress its particularities, but learns to handle them. This also includes the parents who, through more acceptance, are already significantly improving the child’s position and feeling. Strong suffering in the child and an increasing overburdening of the parents can make a therapy really useful and necessary. Therapies can also make sense if there is a clear delay in physical development, for example, if a child stutters or lisps or even does not speak. It is important in any therapy that the background is not to normalize the child. The goal should be to teach him – and in any case also the parents.