As an adult, if you were to seek out hypnotherapy – or any other type of therapy – to help you with a particular issue in your life, one of the first things the hypnotherapist would do is explain to you the importance of your involvement in the therapeutic process. He or she would explain that, whilst hypnotherapy would be immensely useful to you and you would do a lot of work together in your hypnotherapy appointment, that it’s the work you do between sessions which will really make the difference.
Exactly the same is true for your child and, being a child, they need your help between sessions to get the fullest benefits from hypnotherapy.
On the one hand, this might involve you encouraging your child to practice self-hypnosis or listen to hypnotherapy recordings. Or t might involve you supporting your child while they put into practice the work they have mutually agreed with the hypnotherapist, such as exposing themselves to something they have been frightened of.
But there is so much that you can do, as a parent, to help increase your child’s confidence, self-esteem and problem solving abilities – all of which will help support the work your child is doing with their hypnotherapist. Here are three key things – which may seem obvious, but which are very easy to forget, especially when we’re stressed about our kids – which you can make sure you’re doing from today onwards.
1) Listen. Really listen. Set some time aside, when you’re not going to be disturbed, and commit to paying attention to what your child has to say. Remember, if your child has been experiencing problems, it’s likely you’ve gone into panic mode too and perhaps aren’t listening and responding to your kid in a calm and supportive manner. It’s easy to jump in as parents when our children are trying to explain what’s up with them, with our opinions and ideas. We know best, don’t we? Actually, we might not know what our child needs – but if we listen to them, we can find out. So the next time your child starts to explain something, instead of jumping in and dominating the conversation, let them talk. Whether or not you seek hypnotherapy for your child, you’ll help them feel more valued and able to trust you when they have something important to say.
2) Be kind. ‘What?! Of course I’m kind!’, I hear you shout. But staying kind can be hard, especially with older kids and teenagers, and especially if we’ve gone into panic mode. A few years ago, my older son was experiencing problems at school. I went into panic mode, trying to make him do this, that or the next thing because I was worried about him. I was concerned that he’d leave school with no qualifications and slide down a slippery slope, having about with the wrong crowd. There was a lot of intolerance and fear on my side. One day my son, in complete frustration at my latest attempt to guide him in what I thought was the best direction for him, shouted, ‘I just need you to be a mum!’. I was horrified. But he was right. Somewhere along the line I’d got so caught up in my project fear that I’d stopped being kind to him. I’d become pushy and strict. His outburst seriously made me re-evaluate and I stopped hassling him. I became patient. I trusted that he was a good kid, with a good foundation, who was at a difficult time in his life. And I made an effort to be nothing but kind and supportive. The battles stopped. The frustration on both sides gave in to support and understanding. And my son began to change his life in a very positive direction.
3) Be consistent. When someone brings their child for hypnotherapy, its possible for both parent and kid to feel very enthusiastic at first. The child may experience hypnosis and really enjoy that experience and the parents are keen to see the child develop and grow with the help of hypnotherapy. However, the initial enthusiasm can wane – the child stops practicing self-hypnosis, the parent and child stop working towards goals which were set during the hypnotherapy session and the initial results are not built upon. Many issues which your child is coming to hypnotherapy for require several sessions, and consistency between sessions. Set time aside for self-hypnosis. Have a time table or chart to monitor and reward progress and the meeting of goals set during hypnotherapy sessions. Keep working with your child so that you ca help them become more and more empowered as they move through life.
Being a parent is one of the most difficult jobs you can do. Nobody’s perfect and it’s easy for some things to slip! Remembering the points above will help you to support your child in the right way and to get the best results out of hypnosis.