One of the most challenging aspects of treating children through self-hypnosis is educating the parents on how they can best help. Studies indicate that the more the parents get involved, the less effective the treatment. The best way to help your child is to stay out of it! Hypnosis belongs to the patient, not the parent. The technique works only if the child is motivated.
So, as a parent, you are asked to do the exact opposite of what you’ve done the child’s entire life: you are requested to stay out of this process!
For example, if your child has an ear infection or a strep throat, you give the child his/her medication twice a day, or remind the child to take the medication. With clinical hypnosis, it is ALL up to the patient. It is recommended that parents refrain from asking, “Are you doing your homework (from Dr. Lazarus)?” or “Are you practicing the exercises?”
As a parent, this can be very difficult to do, since you love your child and want to help him/her. Dr. Lazarus discusses this with the parents and child together. When meeting with all of them Dr. Lazarus often uses humor to encourage parents to stay out of it: “If you forget once in a while, we let it slide. But if you keep bothering your child, then, of course, there have to be consequences.” Typical suggestions for consequences include: “no dessert that night, or no television that night, or, you have to go to bed early that night!” Of course, children and adolescents of all ages break out with big smiles during this discussion!
Another suggestion is for parents to give the unwritten, unspoken attitude of, “You can do this. Yes, this may be hard, and, we know you can do it.” The parents should not be active cheerleaders.
A parent’s surprise:
— Mother of Jonathan and Joshua
If your child has an issue you would like to me to hear about, please contact me.