Do Your Kids Say You Need Couples Therapy? - Pt 1
Mar 20, 2019
Kids today are pretty smart. The amount of psychological knowledge that can filter through cultural references and ambient knowledge is surprising. You've probably been expecting to eventually dispense relationship advice to your children, not the other way around. But if your kids are telling you that you their other parent need couples therapy, chances are that they're not just parroting something they heard in a sitcom.
Your children know you better than anyone but your romantic partner and if there's been some romantic distance, they may have the best perspective of anyone on what you need emotionally, psychologically, and as a couple. But no one expects to hear this news from the mouth of someone they created not so many years ago.
How Do They Know?
Maybe you heard it from your teen with a smirk or rolled eyes. "Ugh mom. You and dad fight so much you should, like, totally be in couple's therapy." Or even more unnervingly, you may have heard it as an earnest suggestion from your school-age child with concern in their eyes. "Dad, do you think you and mom would get along better if you got therapy together?"
You find yourself wondering where a kid even heard about couples therapy and how they could possibly know if it's the right answer for you. But kids are more connected than you think they are. Television for kids and teens covers a lot more complicated issues than it used to. The social media they spend all day chatting on touches every aspect of society. Simple access to the internet gives them the ability to look up anything they get curious about. And, of course, there's the fact that they're not blind or deaf.
What to Do When Your Child Suggests Therapy
Maybe they did see it on television and that got them hoping your relationship could be mended like the characters on the screen. Or perhaps a friend's parents are going through couple's therapy and the friend is much happier lately as a result. Don't discount your child's suggestion because they're young or assume it's uninformed. Instead, let it open a conversation about why your child is so concerned.
Suggesting that someone get therapy has become a shared cultural joke, but your child may genuinely be worried about the strength of your marriage or their future home stability. Join is next time for the second half of this two-part article where we'll talk about how to address your child's concerns and work with your partner to resolve recent or lingering problems. If you'd like a consultation on your relationship or your children's worries, contact me today. I'm here to help.