Many children display adjustment challenges when they transit from kindergarten to primary school. Some show signs of separation anxiety, others fear class assessments and a small group of children experience bullying. The good news is that most children eventually settle down, make friends, have fun with sports and social activities. In general, when children experience positive experiences in school they are happier while negative experiences leads to rejection and an inferiority complex. The core focus of therapy for these group of children is to help them focus and build on their positive experiences, while helping them learn strategies to cope with negative experiences.
PRIMARY SCHOOL CHALLENGES:
Adjustment issues: Feels unsettled & complaints of headache, stomach ache.
Emotional distress: Anxious, teary and upset over small matters.
Bullying: Nightmares or disturbed sleep and sudden temper outbursts.
Social challenges: Withdrawn, aloof from peers and complains of no friends.
Anger Management: May stem from sibling rivalry, jealousy, stress.
Lacks motivation: Shows disinterest in school/home work with poor results.
CHILDREN WHO ARE DIFFERENTLY ABLED ARE SPECIAL:
Physical Disabilities: Poor Vision or hearing impairment, can learn as well.
Autism: Social and emotional behaviours can be learnt.
Dyslexia: Intelligent children with reading and writing disability.
Global Developmental Delays: Delayed milestones does not mean cannot learn.
Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) or Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) lacks concentrating abilities and are often restless & over-active but they can learn relaxation techniques to help them focus.
SECONDARY SCHOOL CHALLENGES:
Today's adolescents experience many challenges as they go through situational vulnerabilities like identity building versus role confusion, transitional adjustment to secondary school, peer pressures and the demands of socialising while dealing with the demands of the academics and managing the expectations of the parents. These challenges can manifest in at-risk behaviours such as smoking, truancy, lack of motivation and poor grades conduct.
Common challenges of youths during adolescence:
Growing pains: Feeling of apathy, listlessness and unhappiness.
Self-image: Poor self-worth, self-esteem and confidence.
Generalised fears: Due to bullying or deliberate social isolation by peers.
Socialisation: Inter-personal challenges (not liked by peers).
Body dysmorphic disorder: Image dissatisfactions that can lead to eating disorders.
High risk: Self-harm, suicidal tendencies /ideations resulting in unhealthy coping mechanisms.
Boy-Girl Relationships: Sex and sexuality boundaries surrounding relationships.
Mental Health: Stress, anxiety, mild depression with the presence of mood disorders.
Performance: Academic challenges due to the lack of motivation and focus.
Screen Addictions: Gaming and over-usage of phone time affecting focus and academic achievements.
At AppleTree Counselling, a Family Systemic Framework is adopted when working with adolescents and their families. The unique model delivers effective outcomes for the individuals and family members, as it not only helps students to identify where their distress is rooted, but allows the family unit to strengthen their relationship with, and understanding of, one another.