Category Archives: teen counseling

Oradell parenting counselor

Parenting Advice 07649

In your role as parent, you may experience a variety of situations that perhaps you did not expect, are unsure about or you simply feel you need more information and would like to talk it over with a professional before effectively resolving.  Whether you are a first time or experienced parent, we understand everyone could use a bit of help now and then.  At Mars & Venus we offer parenting counseling and parenting advice as part of our variety of mental health services.  As your Oradell parenting counselor, the extensively experienced and highly trained professional therapists will be able to explore your current parenting concerns with you and work toward increasing your level of comfort with any obstacles or feelings of apprehension you may be facing.

The first step toward receiving effective parenting counseling or receiving professional parenting advice by a Oradell parenting counselor at Mars & Venus, is to schedule a preliminary appointment for a consultation.  At this first appointment, we encourage patients to first allow themselves to begin by discussing their reasons for seeking treatment by a one of our compassionate counselors.  We understand you will want to first determine your level of comfort with your therapist and decide if you feel at ease to talk about your stressors without inhibition.  Feelings of trust, security and well-being with your therapist are of the utmost importance. Our team of professionals understands your need for this part of the process and will encourage you by allowing as much time as you need to ask questions regarding treatment options for your parenting counseling.

To schedule an appointment with our Oradell parenting counselor at Mars & Venus, we ask that you either contact us via our website or call our office at (201) 467-4173.  We understand the hectic pace of family life and offer convenient day or evening appointments Monday through Friday as well as 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday.  We accept many medical insurance plans as well as other forms of payment including most major credit cards.  Our team of compassionate and caring counselors look forward to meeting with you and meeting your parenting counseling needs in our Oradell office.

Parental Counseling Oradell
466 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, New Jersey 07649
(201) 467-4173

 

What Do You Tell Your Children about Death?

In light of what happened in our Bergen County, Northern NJ community that Mars & Venus is a part of:

In most families, parents don’t think about explaining death to their children until a relative dies.

In the past, when people were born and died at home, death was a natural part of everyday life and children took part in that event with everybody else.

Today it is important to be aware that an understanding of death does not enter a child’s picture of the world by itself. Children have to be told about death. It will make sorrow and death much easier for a child to deal with if they know something about it beforehand.

Why should I prepare my children? When someone in a family dies, many parents will attempt to protect their children by not talking about sorrow or death. This is a misguided kind of protection. Sooner or later, the child will be confronted with the subject. If a child has some understanding of the meaning of the word ‘death’, they will be better equipped to deal with the situation.

If a child has been protected against sorrow, they will still react when they realize what has happened. Nobody can avoid grief, only postpone it. Often, trying to protect a child will only cause them unnecessary anxiety and perhaps even guilt.

It may not be possible for a parent to talk to a child about death when someone in the family dies, because that parent is so upset. It would be beneficial for the whole family if the child had been prepared before the actual death.

How do I talk to my child about death? Children can be taught that death is a part of life by their parents preparing them when a death in the family is expected. They can talk about it before they, and their parents, are grief stricken. Children do not need protection; they need competent guidance and satisfactory answers to their questions.

The development and age of the child needs to be borne in mind. The parent or guardian knows how the child likes like to talk about things, the sort of language they can use and if there are other ways they like to communicate, through drawing for example.

Children less than eight years old are often interested in death and have complex concepts about it but are not able to grasp its finality. They, and many adults, have magical beliefs about how life can carry on after death or how many people come back to life. The understanding that this is not the case only comes with greater maturity and then will be affected by the cultural and spiritual beliefs of the child’s family and community.

By making this preparation a part of everyday life, death will be a natural thing for a child. Flowers that wither and die, or a pet that dies, may provide an opening. It is possible to talk about elderly people whom the child knows and talk about yourselves getting old and dying. The library can provide a list of children’s books on the subject. Reading books together, and talking afterwards about the feelings they arouse, is a good way of starting to talk about death.

Children ask questions in a very direct way. They may not talk about feelings as much as about more concrete circumstances. Maybe they will ask what a coffin looks like on the inside, whether lying in the ground is scary and lonely or whether it is cold and dark down there. It is important to be prepared for these questions. If they make the parent uncomfortable, the child will notice and stop asking questions. A child will watch to see whether they are allowed these kinds of questions and the reaction they create.

Remember children do not sit down and discuss a subject for hours on end. They will come running and ask some of the hardest questions in the world. That offers little time to think answers through. After a couple of minutes, they might want to go back outside to play. Seizing the moment is important. Talk about the subject when they want to. It is natural for them to change the subject and then return to it later.

When telling a child that someone has died, make sure the word ‘died’ is used. Children do not understand euphemisms. Some children have waited years for a grandparent to return because they had been told he or she had ‘passed away.’ Euphemisms may help an adult feel better but they won’t help a child understand what has happened.

When mourning, let a child know it. The parent should let him or her see they are truly sad. If grief is hidden, the child will think that grief is not an acceptable feeling.

Should my child go to the funeral? A funeral is a ceremony that helps people accept death. The child is a part of the family and it is only natural that they take part in the funeral along with everybody else. Prepare them for what might happen at the funeral. Tell them exactly what is going to take place and why. Tell them that some of the mourners may cry.

If a parent’s own grief prevents them from talking to the child and preparing them for the funeral, another close relative or friend can do it.

Whether or not to take part in the funeral should be the child’s choice. It is not something a parent should force a child to do. If they don’t want to go, ask them why not and let them talk about their feelings.

Is honesty a must?  The basic questions about life and death demand honest answers.  Listen carefully when a child asks a question. Make sure you understand what they want to know. Answer the question.

If your child asks ‘Am I going to die?’ tell them that they will, but not for a long time. If a child asks whether a parent is going to die, they should be told that all people die eventually, but that their parent will not die for a long time.

A child may ask a question that a parent cannot answer. It is honest and OK to say ‘I don’t know’.

Is it good for my child to remember? It is always good for everybody to remember their loved one who has died. Through memories, the person is kept alive in our minds. It is helpful to leave a photo album out for the child to look at their pictures whenever they like.

Help children hold on to happy memories of the person who died. Say ‘Do you remember?’ or ‘That was how he wanted it’ or ‘This was her favorite food’. A child will know that it is good to remember.

 

Oradell Adolescent Counseling

Counseling for Young Adults in Oradell NJ

Is your teenage son or daughter suddenly disinterested in activities they once loved to enjoy? Or are you simply concerned about their recent struggles in school and letters home from teachers? It’s no secret that being a teenager can be a difficult process of transitioning, but young adulthood should not disrupt a person’s way of life. Anytime a mental issue becomes disruptive on a constant basis in one’s personal pursuit of happiness, it is time to seek help. No matter what your son or daughter is going through, you can rest assured that they will find the help they need with Oradell adolescent counseling at the welcoming offices of the experts in youth psychology at Mars & Venus.

The teenage years are a transitional struggle for a variety of reasons. As young bodies are assaulted with hormones and chemicals, sleep patterns are constantly a battle, and your children are growing into a world where they are beginning to look more inwardly as they try to decide what they want to do with the rest of their lives. For many teenagers, the thought of trying to figure out a college major, let alone a career path, can be the source of great anxiety and despair. Fortunately, whether your son or daughter is going through a tough time at school due to changes at home, or may be suffering from a serious mental problem, your experts in Oradell adolescent counseling are here to help. Mental problems and illnesses can often go unnoticed for a great deal of childhood lives, only to make themselves known as your children grow into adulthood and realize the problems they suffer from are truly not the same as everyone else. Counseling of youths involves one on one sessions to help assess their issues and needs, and works to assist each client in finding the strength and mental fortitude they need to succeed in life. Group sessions are available at the client’s request if they feel more comfortable in order to help them open about the source of their problems and find a road towards a solution. Youth counseling is accomplished in a largely conservative fashion, with medication only being discussed in rare cases of absolute necessity, for a natural approach towards a better way of life.

For the very best in Oradell adolescent counseling, be sure to visit the experts in mental health and overall wellness at the esteemed practice of Mars & Venus. Our fully licensed and professionally trained staff works to meet the needs of our patients with personalized sessions and convenient options such as phone and video counseling to fit into your busy schedule. With adolescent counseling from Mars & Venus, your child can find the help they need to succeed in any path they choose.

Adolescent Therapy Oradell
466 Kinderkamack Road
Oradell, New Jersey 07649
(201) 467-4173

Children, Teens, and Divorce in Bergen County

kidsanddivorce

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers questions about children and divorce.

Q: My husband and I have been in a bad marriage for years. We have discussed divorce many times. We have two children. We try to be civil with each other, but often our anger flares up. At this point, we are staying together only for the kids. Are we doing the best thing? R.D. Paramus.

A: Dear R.D. You didn’t mention if therapy for your relationship had been attempted. If not, I always recommend therapy for couples and especially therapy to aid with the divorce decision. Indeed, divorce may be the only rational solution to a bad marriage. Evidence shows that children exposed to open conflict where parents terrorize, or strike one another, avoid each other, or are emotionally distant from one another are not well-adjusted. Reduce your post-divorce anger. Show your children that their parents can effectively guide them. Allow your children to maintain a close relationship to both parents. This will lead to a successful transition for your family.

Q: My parents are getting a divorce. I’m not sure how I feel. My parents are often angry. When I talk to my mom, she cries. When I go to my dad, he says, “Everything will be o.k.” I’m confused. C.W., Westwood.

A: Dear C.W. Confusion may be setting in because your feelings about divorce are changing as time passes. After you get over the shock of hearing the news, you may even be relieved. If your parents have been arguing a lot, it will be less tense in the house. Everybody is different, but most kids also go through a time of being angry. Don’t pretend things are o.k. if they’re not. It’s not your job to cheer everybody up. Find someone to talk to. If you have a friend whose parents are divorced; talk to them. Other relatives like grandparents, aunts, uncles can be helpful. You might talk to someone outside your family like a teacher, school counselor, club leader, or a parent of a friend. If they can’t help you, they will be able to suggest someone who can.

Children and Fear and Child Counseling in Oradell and Franklin Lakes, NJ

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers a questions about children and fear.

Q – My son is afraid to go on the school bus. He is six years old and says he’d rather I take him and pick him up. What can I do? – A Working Mom, Hackensack.

A – Fears and phobias are common and within the normal range for a school age child. Focus your attention on helping your child cope with his fears. Ask him what makes him afraid of taking the bus. You may be surprised by his answer. A rattling window or the thought that the driver might not bring him home are both upsetting to a kid. Get him to express himself by role-playing, storytelling, or discussion.

Help him feel his inner strength. Acknowledge that life sometimes is scary. You could say, “Yes, I understand that you are afraid of going on the school bus, but I know you are brave and strong and it will be OK. I know you can do it.” Let him have his fears and learn how to handle them. Brainstorm with him about what he could do to conquer his fear or cope with it. Tell your child how you work at overcoming your fears. Don’t battle with him. Praise his progress. Tell him each day how well he is doing on the bus ride and remind him that tomorrow you know he will do even better.

This is a lesson here: Sometimes in life, we have to settle and compromise when we can’t have our first choice.

The Mars & Venus Counseling Center is here to help.  We are located in Teaneck, Oradell, and Ramsey. NJ.

 

 

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Children and Halloween in Bergen County

Halloween in Bergen County means fun, candy, and pretending, but three, four, and five year olds do not have a true understanding of fantasy and reality. Children can express fear around this holiday to indicate that they need help with sorting things out. When children express fearfulness, a parent can help best by being sensitive and supportive.

Children’s emotional development can progress and regress at certain points. Kids may handle an emotion, such as fear, with some control one moment, and then the next day may exhibit no control over the same fear. One minute preschoolers may be thrilled with their choice of Halloween costume, and then the next minute they refuse to wear it.

Understand why your child is fearful. Fears might help him control a situation, or withdraw, and not participate. Any new experience can be frightening to a young child, even dressing up to collect candy.

Accept children’s fears. Do not overreact. A strong reaction could cause your child’s fears to increase. Be matter of fact: “Vampires are scary, so it’s ok to be afraid, but these are kids dressed up as vampires. They want to collect candy just like you do.”

The Mars & Venus Counseling Center is here to help.  We are located in Teaneck, Oradell, and Ramsey. NJ.

Contact us when you need us.  We are here for you.

 

 

Halloween

 

 

 

Children and Finances in Bergen County – Teaneck, Oradell, and Ramsey

Morrisa Drobnick, LCSW, staff writer and advice columnist of “KIDS Magazine” answers questions about children and finances.

Financial stress and family economics have always been a part of life. Introduce children early to financial cooperation and they will view themselves as important family team members. Make a conscious effort to teach the value of money early, using simple examples. Confronting harsh family realities is never easy, but it is nice to know that there are parents who are helping their children adapt positively.

Q – We had such difficulty telling our kids about my husband losing his job. Seeing us depressed is not helping. We don’t want to scare them or have them ashamed of their father. – M.G. in Maywood.

A – The fantasies of kids (and adults) can actually be far more troubling than the reality that they will eventually learn anyway. Be honest and on the level with the kids. It is important for them to learn that life is full of changes. Give specific examples of what will change, as well as what will stay the same.

Q – We told our kids of my husband’s job loss, but got very little reaction. Weeks later, all kinds of questions, misbehavior, and strange comments appeared. HELP! – S.D. from Lodi

A – When kids are informed of any disturbing news, they need time to process the information. Make yourself available after sharing bad news. Try to encourage conversation. Misbehavior is an expression of uncomfortable feelings that they’re experiencing.

Q – Money has been tight in our household for some time. We are saving for our first house. I’m honest with my kids. I tell them that things are not in our budget. I give them choices or options. Many times I say “no” because of the money. We’re teaching them early to live within certain limits. I’m sad and disappointed for them at times, but also show them that fun doesn’t have to cost money. – B.B. of Park Ridge

A – What a great attitude! You are doing a wonderful service for your family. You’re being honest and reassuring at the same time. “I’m sorry that the movie isn’t in the budget now, but we can still have fun” is a great way of showing financial limits. Think of things that cost nothing but still provide time together. Board games, reading time, baking cookies or pizza, art and craft projects, family outdoor sport, indoor exercising, family walks, getting together with other families, activities sponsored by libraries or towns are all no cost and fun.

The Mars & Venus Counseling Center is here to help.

 

 

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