How Understanding Child Psychology Can Boost Your Relationship With Your Child

When most parents think of child psychology, they think of all the ways therapy can help their child. However, understanding child psychology can also boost your relationships with your children.

Let’s take a look at how understanding child psychology can boost your relationship with your child or teen.


What is child psychology?

Many kids and teens have challenges that impact how they think, learn, behave, and feel. Child psychology, commonly referred to as child therapy, is a type of mental health treatment designed to provide children and teens with the tools and coping skills they need to overcome these challenges. In therapy, children learn and talk about how to work out their problems.

In particular child psychologists are trained to work with children and teens. Play therapy is a special type of therapy designed to help children naturally express themselves and relate to their world through play. Ideal for children aged 3-12, play therapy doesn’t feel like a “session” at all. During therapy, your child’s psychologist may use games, puppets, books, coloring, or other creative tools such as art and music to help them engage, express and regulate. These can also be adapted for teens.

Other types of therapy can also be delivered through play/creative interventions such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). In this, as children and teens open up, the psychologist observes patterns in how they respond to situations through their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors. The psychologist then works with the child in exploring more helpful ways of thinking to better address challenging situations. This is paired with exploring ways to regulate emotions through sensory interventions such as breathing, mindfulness, and movement.

An important part of the therapy process is psychoeducation on ways the child/teen brain develops. The psychologist works with parents in helping them identify developmentally appropriate needs and behaviors. This can help promote patience when difficult behaviors arise, and also helps them understand which strategies may be more appropriate than others in certain moments.


How can a child psychologist help?

How can a child psychologist help


The goal of child psychology is to help a child feel understood, connected, loved, and empowered. Going to therapy helps them cope better, communicate better, and do better.

Child psychology can help your child navigate:

  • Family problems
  • School problems
  • Peer victimization
  • Health problems
  • Sadness or depression
  • Anger
  • Low self-esteem
  • Grief
  • Anxiety
  • Trauma
  • And much more

Unlike a therapist or counselor, a child psychologist can provide a mental health diagnosis for your child. They are trained to diagnose mental illness, disorders, or problems in their patients/clients. Once they have provided a diagnosis, they will work with you as a parent to determine the best treatment plan(s) based on observations and clinical diagnoses for your child. They also work together with a psychiatrist or other medical professionals when medication is needed as part of the treatment plan.

Understanding your child’s mental health diagnosis, such as ADHD, Anxiety, Autism/Aspergers, Depression, or OCD, is a very critical step in understanding your child. Once you are provided with a diagnosis, you can then begin the road to treatment and recovery.


Understanding your child through therapy

understanding your child through therapy

Rather than navigating through this challenging time alone, you and your child will work towards a common therapeutic goal to enhance their mental health and well being.


Through the course of your child’s therapy journey, you will begin to understand how to communicate with your child, what their triggers are, the emotional needs underlying their behaviors, and what coping mechanisms work best for your child to help them overcome their challenges. As you start to talk more with your child, you’ll gain greater understanding and awareness of what they are experiencing and struggling with on a daily basis.


As your child works with their therapist they’ll become more self aware and achieve a greater sense of self-esteem. Enhanced self-esteem works to promote healthier relationships with family and friends. In particular, great self-esteem works to enhance the child-parent relationship. ​​A positive parent-child relationship provides the support and framework for a child to develop a healthy respect and regard for self and for others.


Be Psychology 

At Be Psychology, our team of therapists and psychologists are trained to help treat both children and adults with any mental health concerns. We are here to provide support and guidance to children and their families during their challenging times. If you or a loved one are in need of testing, assessments, or psychotherapy, we can help.


reem shaheen counseling psychologist


Reem Shaheen – LMHC