If you ever feel the urge to use your child as your personal counsellor, go see a real counsellor.

Congrats if you have a good or even great relationship with your kid.

Hopefully your relationship is based on mutual respect, open and honest communication, clearly defined roles and a lot of laughter.

A child should be able to confide in their parent if they want to ask for advice or just vent.  That is normal.

However it is not healthy for you to tell everything to your child (in a way that you would tell a counsellor).  They may be listening because they love you, but they shouldn’t have to be responsible for helping you sort out your personal issues.

That is not their role.

No matter how “mature” they are.

Once your child is an adult, you can definitely talk about more aspects of your life and vent from time to time…

…but if you find yourself going to your child whenever you have a problem, whenever you need advice or support, or whenever you are in crisis…this is a problem.

Earlier I talked about being the kind of adult you want your children to become, and it is true in this instance as well.

Be the kind of adult who knows where to go for help, who doesn’t pressure their child to fix their problems.  Show them what to do if they ever need someone to talk to when they grow up.

If you feel the need to really vent, ask for advice, deal with crises and get guidance in your life….and you don’t have a close friend to take on that role….then you need to seek out professional help.

Seeing a counsellor can be amazing….someone who is objective and doesn’t have an agenda.  Someone who is paid to listen to you and help you improve your life.  An adult with some life experience.

If cost is an issue, many clinics and organizations offer counselling at a reduced rate or based on a sliding fee scale.

Let your kid be a kid.  He will be an adult soon enough.

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