Rapid physical growth over a short period of time and concerns about changes in their bodies can cause stress and loss of self-esteem. There are also many fears that children have today: fear of going to sleep, the dark, danger in schools, fear of doctors, dentists, needles and more. Many children are embarrassed by habits they find hard to break, such as bedwetting and thumb sucking. A new baby or other addition to the family can cause stress; divorce or moving creates unhappiness in a child.
School and learning influences:
(Adapted from Z. Grant, M.S., CCHt.)
The loss of a friend who moves away, being shamed or frightened by a teacher or a school peer, boredom with school, having to make new friends, unfamiliarity with school work, doing poorly in a subject, being behind other children are common problems for many children and cause much stress and anxiety.
When children are experiencing stress or are worried (whether conscious of it or not), they demonstrate warning sign. School work may begin to slide; they may lose and forget things constantly. They may steal, become accident prone, have headaches or stomach aches. They may bite their nails and pull their hair or lashes. They may revert to wetting the bed and thumb sucking.
Health problems may start. They may have changes in disposition. They may stop wanting to go to school or begin to disrupt the classroom. They may begin lying or other avoidance patterns. They may have trouble sleeping and experience nightmares or sleepwalking.
Older children or adolescents may turn to drugs, alcohol and sex.
One of the most frequent reasons children are brought to Hypnotherapists is to improve how they are doing in school.
Negative influences on children:
(D. Morrill, M.S., CCH)
There are many positive influences upon children, but there are also many strong negative influences as well in their growing years. Some of them are:
- Parental dissatisfaction with a spouse, the children or life in general.
- Parents fighting in front of children or within earshot.
- Abusiveness (physically, verbally or emotionally).
- Economic deprivation.
- Alcohol and drug abuse within the family.
- The death or illness of someone close.
- Divorce or other separation.
- Peer pressure to conform in dress or behaviour.
- School demands or other school-related stresses.
- Unfair or prejudicial treatment of the children by parents or extended members of the family.
- What adults and youths around them consider important.
- What their peers consider important.
- Family or peer attitudes toward other races and cultures.
- And many more…
- Sitcom (values)
- Violence in cartoons
- Sports and news
- Discussion of current events by adults
It is important for the Hypnotherapist to be aware of these. Such information may need to be part of the assessment and considered in the decisions about what might, at least in part, be a source of a child’s trouble. It might also give clues as to the type or method of hypnotherapy most suites to the child.
When choosing a hypnotherapist, it is important to be sure that he or she is qualified. Pierre Benoit, CHt, RCCH, is a member of the Association of Registered Clinical Hypnotherapists of Canada (ARCH) and of the International Medical and Dental Hypnotherapy Association (IMDHA) and can be reached at (514)472-3535.