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During the ages of 2-4, your child’s personality is emerging. You may have heard of the phrases “the terrible two’s”, “threenager”, and “the four-year-old itch”. Your child may have started to say “no” to everything, refusing to eat, bathe, or go to daycare/preschool, and is constantly testing your limits. Although these years can be some of the most stressful, they are also important. Research has shown that the years of 0-3 are the most important developmental years of a child’s life which can greatly influence a person’s success later in life. Therefore, if you have a concern about your child, it is never too early to address it.
Kentlands Psychotherapy is here to help. Andrea Zawatsky LCSW-C, our Clinician for Preschool-Aged Children, is specifically trained in Play and Sand Tray Therapy to work with this age group and has a wealth of experience to address your concerns. As s a mother herself, she will provide a nurturing space for your child to explore and ultimately change his or her behavior, as well as a nonjudgmental space for parents to process what is happening at home and school with their child. Email her to set up a phone call to discuss your concerns and our resources. She looks forward to learning about you and your little one’s needs. She can be reached at AZawatsky@KentlandsPsychotherapy.com.or by calling (240) 252-3349 Ext.804.
Andrea is the only clinician at Kentlands Psychotherapy working with very young children; preschoolers and kindergartners between the ages of 3 and 6-years-old.
|Minimum* Age Accepted||Clinician|
|Preschooler (2+)||Andrea Zawatsky, LCSW-C|
|Elementary Schoolers (6+)||Gail Groboski, LCSW-C|
|Late Middle Schoolers (12+)||Johanna Koenig, LCSW-C|
|High Schoolers (14+)||Nicole Beane, LCSW-C|
*All clinicians listed here see unlimited upper age groups (i.e., everyone listed above sees adolescents and adults).
We just had a baby and my preschooler is having a more difficult time adjusting than we had anticipated. What can we do?
Congratulations on your bundle of joy! Having a baby is a joyous time for your family but it also can be a stressful one, especially if your child is becoming a first-time big sister or brother. Your child has been the center of your world for his or her whole life and has most likely had every need met without delay. Suddenly, they are told they have to share your attention, be quiet during the baby’s nap time, and maybe even help with the baby. That doesn’t feel like a fair trade-off to them! Luckily, this resentment can turn into a passing phase with the right guidance.
Patients, compassion, and empathy can go a long way in addressing this issue. Making it a priority to spend a little special time with your child when possible can also really help. Doing this helps children to see that the special bond he or she has had with you is not gone forever. If that is not enough to turn things around, seeing a young child clinician can help. By using various age-appropriate therapeutic techniques, your child will work with a therapist to express their frustrations and learn to welcome the new baby with open arms. In a matter of time, your child will happily take an active role in the baby’s life.
Our daycare called us in for a meeting to tell us that our child keeps biting the other children. We’re concerned what this could mean about our child’s personality. We told our son to stop biting but the behavior has continued!
Your son feels frustrated at times, like we all do, however, he may not yet have the vocabulary or the emotional maturity to express himself more appropriately.
That is typically when biting occurs. Your therapist will work with you on a treatment plan tailored to your child to address what the cause of the biting is and how to address the problem. Your therapist is also available to work with your daycare center depending on the location to ensure that your child is getting his or her needs met and not feeling overly frustrated at their daycare center, which can exacerbate the biting.
My daughter is so shy. She goes to daycare and has play dates yet has no interest in playing with her peers. Should I be concerned?
We recommend that you bring her in for an initial evaluation appointment to have a chance to have a professional observe and interact with her so you can get some expert feedback. It is important to not feel worried however, feeling anxious yourself about it will not help and early intervention is key. Your therapist will work with your child on how to appropriately socialize with her peers and assess if there may be any contributing factors to her shyness. The good news is that therapy has been found to be incredibly beneficial for shy kids.
My child is suffering from separation anxiety. She only wants to be with me, she’s even rejecting to my husband and my mom! I feel bad for them and I am exhausted because I feel I can never get a break! How long is this going to last and should I get help?
Yes, this is something that will eventually get better and yes, we can help you with it to speed that process along. Children sometimes become particularly and strongly attached to one parent (often shifting back and forth between parents) and it can be very hard for mom or dad to do their household chores while carrying a toddler all over the house with them, or to successfully leave your their for an hour at the childcare center to get in a workout at the gym, or in your case even just leave her with your mom for a couple of hours so that you and your husband can have a date night.
Andrea is here to help you and your child, so you can get some breaks without being riddled with guilt.
As your child will also be going into preschool or daycare soon, he or she will need to be away from you. We can help you work with your child in easing his or her separation anxiety. With therapy, your child will continue to have a strong bond with you while also starting to become more independent and broadening her attachment connections with others.
Learn more about what to do regarding separation anxiety in this video.
My child is having tantrums multiple times a day and they can be triggered by any little thing. It has become embarrassing to go out in public and I’m starting to lose my patience. I need help!
Your child is learning and responding to new stimuli every day and this can be very overwhelming for a small child.
Children can become emotionally flooded without yet possessing the skills to manage their feelings. In addition, due to his or her limited language skills, he or she may resort to more primitive coping strategies that may have worked in infancy such as crying, hitting, stomping, and even collapsing on the floor.
Dealing with tantrums can be one of the most frustrating and embarrassing challenges of this age. The good news is that our preschooler and young child therapists are well equipped in dealing with tantrums in toddlers and young children. Your therapist will work with you and your child in developing strategies for dealing with your child’s frustrations and how to lessen these tantrums’ frequency, intensity, and durations while he or she is learning more adaptive ways to deal with emotions and frustrations so everyone can start enjoying going out again.
Andrea Zawatsky, LCSW-C (240) 252-3349 Ext. (804) is skilled and able to address many more unique struggles that your preschooler may be facing. Don’t hesitate to call today to talk with her about what is going on with your little one and learn how she may be able to help you and your child!