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4/9/17blog post

4 mystifying questions about kids

Kids can be a mystifying puzzle to parents. Here are the most common questions I receive about kids’ perplexing behaviors.

  1. . Why does my child act so entitled?  Parents complain that their kids rarely express gratitude for all they have, and act as if they deserve more. Nothing seems to be good enough. You’re at fault on this one. You’ve given way too much, and much too easily. You failed to enforce rules about chores. Your kids don’t reach out to help others. You want your kids to feel good and like you rather than do what is right.
  2. . Why do so many kids attempt to kill themselves? Every year, 18 percent of high school kids seriously think about suicide, and 8.6% make an attempt.  Parents feel overwhelmed trying to understand why any young person would think that death is better than life.There is no simple or single answer to such a complex problem. Most of these young people lack the perspective that “all things will pass.” An incident like a breakup with a boyfriend is perceived as traumatic by some teens, causing them to choose death over life.This question has no easy answer.
  3. Why won’t my kids talk to me, but talk with a therapist?  It’s frustrating and disappointing when parents are unable to connect with their kids. It’s even more perplexing when these youngsters are communicative and engaging with other adults---coaches, teachers, or mental health professionals.   This is easy to explain. Other adults aren’t as emotionally engaged as you are with your kids, and don’t control rewards and punishments. Mental health therapists have a unique relationship with your children. Within few limits, they can say anything to us, and we won’t punish them or immediately try to correct their misperceptions. Please remember that my goal is not to get your child to talk with me, but rather to help your youngster learn how to engage with you.
  4.  Why don’t kids tell about sexual abuse?  Despite all of our education and reassurances, most kids who have been sexually molested don’t immediately tell about the incident. The consequences are devastating for the child, as well as other potential victims.This makes lots of sense  since most of these incidents occur by someone known and trusted by your child. Kids report an array of bewildering feelings when sexual abuse occurs, ranging from guilt, anger, and fear. Most of these kids are incredibly confused by the actions of someone they trust. They may be fearful of getting themselves or even the offender in trouble. Please praise your child for telling, rather than criticizing them for not disclosing when it happened. 

Gregory Ramey, PhD., Executive Director

psychology
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