In my last couple of articles, I have discussed who to turn to for psychological help for your child and how to find a therapist and get your child engaged in the process.
Now that the process has started and they have gone to 3 or 4 sessions, how do you know if things are getting better for them?
We tend to all want quick fixes or immediate relief for our children from their pain. But in the therapy world, it takes time. Developing a relationship where the child can talk openly with the therapist doesn’t happen overnight. It's difficult in 3 or 4 sessions (hours) to make a realistic determination if it is working or not.
It's also hard to evaluate the initial effects of therapy because oftentimes it gets worse (by bringing up difficult topics) before it gets better. It is a process and not a destination, which means that it just takes time to see the benefits.
What sounds more motivating to you? “I want to go work out"? Or "I have to go work out?”
While there are many philosophies about the purpose of life, it is safe to assume that one of the main purposes of life is for humans to be happy. But what causes or creates happiness? This of course varies from person to person, but the one constant is that people are usually their happiest when they are doing the things that they want to do; the things they are passionate about; the things that enrich their lives.
We all have the power to choose and create whatever our heart desires. We hold the power to decide what we want, and then simply move toward it.
Want Power is the pursuit of things that make us happy, independent of what others think or want for us. Dr. Seuss had something simple, yet very powerful to say about this:
"Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind."
This is so true.
I have found throughout the course of my career as a licensed professional counselor who works with athletes, is that many athletes use sports as an escape from the trauma that is or has occurred in their life.
These athletes become obsessed with their sport. To those on the outside, it can look like commitment, dedication, and discipline. It can be and usually is all of those things too, but it’s also a distraction. It takes them away from the pain that was caused by the trauma that has occurred off the playing field.
This distraction really works in the beginning. It’s a great way to cope. All of their attention, effort and energy go into being better at their sport. They don’t have time to give attention to the “other stuff”. In these situations, the athlete puts an overwhelming amount of pressure on themselves to perform. After all, it could be their only possible escape from the trauma.
Along with this...
Being cut from a team is one of the most difficult situations for athletes to handle. It's also one of the most difficult situations for parents to deal with because our natural instincts are to want to step in and rescue them and take away the pain that they are feeling. Believe me, I understand! I am a parent!
Our kids are meant to learn this lesson to see how they are going to respond to challenges like this in the future. However, your role is crucial at this point. If you make excuses for them, or blame the coaches, or even belittle them for not being good enough, it can have a lasting effect on how they handle these types of challenges in the future.
Your role is not to try to fix it. Instead, it is to help guide them through the pain, embarrassment, doubt, and fears they have just experienced as a result of not making the team.
So, how do...