It’s really common for young and older children to refuse to talk to anyone about their problems – it’s the last thing they feel like doing! As parent’s, it can be very frustrating knowing there is help available, but your child won’t cooperate.
Forcing a child to attend appointments usually isn’t very productive either – the old saying “you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink” is very true.
However, it’s important to know that a lot can still be achieved just by a parent/s talking through their concerns. Gaining a different understanding of your child’s issues can lead to different approaches and strategies, which can be more than enough to get things back on track.
If you have a mental health care plan for your child, Medicare now allows up to two sessions per year for a parent or carer to have a session without the child present. (In the past, the child needed to attend every session.)
This also allows a parent/s to have a session to discuss all their concerns without the child needing to hear it all – this is often very helpful for both the parent and the child. As a child psychologist, I strongly urge parents to take advantage of this opportunity.
Please feel free to contact me by email if you have any questions.