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Parent as Counselor
Last year we interviewed CCEF counselor Julie Lowe to ask her questions about counseling children. We learned that ministry to children can and must look different than it does with adults. We asked Julie how transformation and growth in a child’s life looks different than it does in the lives of adults. Here is what she told us:
“The more I counsel children the more I realize that parents have to be part of the process. Transformation must happen in the context of the family. Adults can make changes for themselves, but children are dependent on their parents and on the choices people are making around them. Therefore, the key to working with children is working with parents. They are always part of the solution.
Whenever I can have parental involvement, I want it. My goal is for the parent to be the child’s wise counselor. I want the parents to do what I’m doing with their children. I equip parents to help their kids in the moment they’re struggling. When children are in my office, they are usually not struggling at that moment; they struggle at home or at school. I’m not there when it happens, but parents often are, so it’s much better to equip parents to help their children in those moments. Just as I seek to be an expert of each child I counsel, I encourage parents to do the same. You want to get to know the child—her temperament, strengths, weaknesses, and areas she’s prone to fall into sin and struggle.
You do not have to be a professional counselor to connect with children at their level. I regularly tell that to parents and families so that they are encouraged to be an agent of change and help in a child’s life.”
Read the entire interview with Julie here.
For more resources on parenting, listen to Julie’s latest talk from our 2012 National Conference.
Lauren Whitman is a content curator at CCEF. Lauren is also a counselor and an editor for the Journal of Biblical Counseling.
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