Something might feel a bit off. You are struggling in school for the first time or just not wanting to do the things you used to enjoy. You might be feeling nervous all the time and struggling to control your continuous anxiety. You, as a child or teen, could be experiencing something that you think may be improved or eliminated by speaking to a counselor. To see a counselor, one of the first steps is talking to your parents, guardian, teacher, or another authority figure in your life, and this can be scary! While I don’t know you or your parents specifically to know what fears you may have to talk to them, I can be a help in how you can speak to them about seeing a counselor. Here are some tips on having that tough conversation.
If you’re ready to have this conversation with your parents, carve out a specific time to do so! This could be in the form of sending a text to your parents about wanting to talk or it could be mentioning it to them a day or two before. When talking to your parents in person, make sure to pick a time that you believe your parents will be most able to listen to you and talk for an extended amount of time. A good time to talk to them could be during a car ride, after dinner, or during an activity where it is just you and your parents. Now sometimes speaking in person about this topic can be too overwhelming, so you could write a letter or text to your parents. You know your parents best. Choose a way to communicate that will work best for both of you!
When you talk to your parents, you should generally tell them what is going on and let them know that you think that you might benefit from seeing a counselor. Here are some guidelines for what you might say in the conversation with your parents or letter to your parents:
This can be an uncomfortable and scary conversation to have with your parents. It takes a lot of courage and strength to tell your parents what has been occurring. You are strong!! If you talk to your parents about your mental health and seeing a counselor, they may want to explore other habits or coping skills that you could do before seeking out a counselor. This can be a good route to take, but keep them aware of how you are doing and if you still think you need to talk to a counselor. If your parents don’t give you the response you wanted or if you don’t feel safe talking to them about this, then other options could be: speaking to your school counselor, a trusted teacher, a coach or an important authority figure in your life. If you are interested in finding a counselor and your family believes that is a good option, then feel free to contact me or other counselors at Lifeologie to see if we are the right fit for you.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), go to your local Emergency Room or call 911.
Ben Balke, LLPC is a counselor at Lifeologie. He enjoys teen counseling and working with young adults as they discover who they are, learn to navigate school, and deal with social anxieties. He’s passionate about connecting with people and making sure they feel safe to work through whatever it is that is tangling them up.