There are times when our children struggle with dealing with what life throws at them. Whether it’s starting a new school, friendship changes, academic pressures or sometimes we aren’t even sure what the challenge is – as parents, we see big emotions and big behaviours that let us know they need our support.
Children can face a wide variety of challenges that impact their emotional well-being and it can manifest in many different ways. Challenges we come across include the stress and fear of failure associated with high expectations at school, family issues including divorce or changes in family structure, peer pressure, bullying and social media pressures. The children we support can be experiencing low self-esteem, withdrawal from family and friends, disrupted sleep patterns, overwhelm, anxiety and anger to name but a few.
Neurodivergent children face all of the same challenges, in addition to those associated with being neurodivergent in a world not designed to meet their needs, such as sensory overload, executive functioning challenges, interoception, tracking and regulating emotions.
Each child’s experience is unique, and understanding their specific challenges is key to providing appropriate support.
You can read more about the children and families we have supported on our case studies page
If you would like to learn more about this area, or to access group support we have a number of group training sessions available. Check our group training page for more details on what is happening in your area.
At times we find parents would like to spend time working on their own emotional well-being to enable to them to become a supportive and resilient parents. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please visit out parent wellbeing support page for more information.
We also provide support packages for other professionals, including early years settings and school settings that address promoting and nurturing children’s emotional well-being. Please visit our professional training page for more details.
As with all our ACT to Connect services we begin with a free initial consult call so we can talk to you about your child and what you need. We offer individual and group support services, both in person and online. We emphasise the importance of working closely with you, the parent, as a crucial aspect of our support services. Often this will be the first of many times you will find your child struggling with life’s challenges. By equipping you with the knowledge and confidence to support them, you can create a safe and positive environment where your child can thrive emotionally.
In most cases we begin by working closely with you, the child’s key adults. Understanding the emotions and behaviours of your child can help you provide the support and guidance your child needs to face their challenges. Providing you with the tools to support your child is the most effective way of creating a safe and collaborative relationship that will help transform your child’s world. Collaborating with your ATC consultant you can foster a brighter, emotionally resilient future for your child.
After starting work with the key adults, we may then offer additional support services for your child. This will often involve a blend of interactive activities and personalized guidance to empower your child to recognize and name their feelings, work towards their values, build resilience and develop coping skills. Working with your child’s interests and values at heart, we may combine our support with art, gardening or other activities they enjoy.
At times we can all benefit from the experience of being with a group of parents, or other children who are experiencing similar challenges. At Act to Connect we have a range of group support services that allow you to access knowledge and understanding of the ways in which we can build resilience and nurture emotional well-being, while alongside others who are going through similar experiences.
There are times when, as a parent, we recognize the need to work on our own emotional well-being in order to be the best parent we can be. We all know the saying ‘put your own oxygen mask on first’. Being a parent, while rewarding and heart-warming, brings its own set of challenges. From feeling overwhelmed, to ‘mum guilt’, struggles with being partners in your parenting journey, to losing sight of who you are outside of being mum/dad - it can be a struggle to feel like you’re doing a good job as a parent. Parents of neurodiverse children often have the added stress around their child's development and future. We work closely with parents who wish to put their own oxygen mask on and be the best version of themselves.
Having a diagnosis of anxiety is not a prerequisite for accessing our services. Recognising the challenges your child is facing and being proactive in supporting them before they become significantly affected, will help them towards building the skills and confidence to deal with future obstacles in their lives.
Many children and young people find it difficult to deal with the feelings and emotions surrounding being frustrated and upset, for example, being unable to do things or things not going their way. In many cases this can lead to angry outbursts that, as parents, we struggle to deal with. At Act to Connect we will work with you, and in some cases your child, to understand what is triggering the outbursts and how you can support your child to feel frustrated and handle those situations and emotions with patience, understanding and calm.
So often when a child is not sleeping well it has an effect on the whole family, and trying to function on little sleep makes life much more challenging. At Act to Connect we will work with you to assess your child’s individual sleep difficulties and barriers to sleep, your family systems and routines surrounding sleep issues and work with you to support your child towards solving those issues. We have worked with children to promote independent sleep, working on the bodes drive to sleep and on fading sleep dependencies to name a few. We use only evidence-based methods and pay careful attention to the impact of the latest research in circadian rhythms and how these impact our sleep.
Being a parent is tough. Despite the glossy social media photos of perfect family events, always smiling children and immaculately clean houses, every parent has their own struggles. Sometimes it’s a specific issue like a child finding it hard to make friends, or toddler tantrums or a child who is having problems sleeping. Other times it’s a build-up of lots of things that lead to you feeling totally overwhelmed with your role as a parent. We work with parents who wish to build their own skills at being resilient, being able to face their challenges, working towards their values and being their most authentic and empowered self.