February 10, 2023by Shari Markovich

Are you worried about changes in your child’s behaviour? Does it often feel like there is something wrong, but you can’t quite put a finger on it? Have they become anxious or withdrawn from their usual activities, friendships, and energetic lifestyle? If so, these may be warning signs that your child could benefit from speaking with a child therapist in Burlington or the surrounding areas.

In this blog post, we will discuss some of the common behaviours to look out for if you suspect your child might need some extra help.

Extreme Anger and Temper Tantrums

One of the clearest signs that your child may need child group therapy or teen counselling services is when extreme anger and temper tantrums become more frequent and less manageable. When these outbursts can’t be controlled with typical methods such as redirection or creativity, it could point to deeper issues that might require professional attention.

Strain on Family Relationships

When your child is having difficulty managing their emotions or coping with life’s difficulties and it begins to strain family relationships, this can be a sign they might need help. Instead of resorting to punitive actions when families are struggling, you should seek out professional advice and resources to help them better manage their difficult emotions.

Variations in Eating and Sleep Patterns

Variations in eating and sleeping patterns can be a major sign that your child may need to speak with a child counsellor. Unusual changes in daily routine of your teen, such as going to bed late or skipping meals, can indicate feelings of deep distress and inner turmoil.  In a child, a significant change in the amount of sleep or in appetite may be indicators. If you notice these types of signs in your child, it could mean they are struggling with difficult emotions and require some help from a mental health professional.

Constant Feelings of Fear, Worry, or Anxiety

It can be heartbreaking to witness your child struggling with fear, worry, or anxiety. If these feelings seem constant and they are affecting your child’s daily life, it may be an indication that they need to talk to somebody outside of the family. An excessive level of intense emotions can interfere with a child’s ability to form healthy relationships and lead them to potentially negative coping strategies.

Self-Destructive Behaviour

Self-destructive behaviour can take many forms, such as cutting oneself, using drugs or alcohol to cope, or even expressing suicidal thoughts. If your child’s negative behaviour is putting their safety at risk, then it’s time to seek professional help from a teen therapist. It may not be easy to talk about these issues, but encouraging your child to share their feelings with a counsellor can provide them with the emotional support they need to lead a healthy and happy life.

Losing Interest in Daily Activities

If your child suddenly shows a decline in interest in the daily activities they used to enjoy or participate in, it may be a sign that your child is dealing with some emotional issues. This could include hobbies, sports, or simply hanging out with friends. Don’t hesitate to reach out to a child counsellor in Burlington if you feel that your child’s lack of motivation is a red flag for underlying issues.

Inability to Focus

If your child has always been able to concentrate on tasks, but now seems unable to complete tasks without getting distracted, then it could be a clue that something deeper may be going on. Talk to them about how they’re feeling and if necessary contact a counsellor to get support so that your child can manage their emotions and life challenges more effectively.


Self-isolation can be a sign of depression, anxiety, and other underlying mental health issues. If you have noticed your child or teenager become increasingly removed from social activities, withdrawn, or uninterested in things they used to enjoy, then it might be time to consider teen counselling services. While teens require some alone time, generally they should still partake in some form of social experiences with family and friends.

Contact the Child Therapists at Family Matters Centre

Family Matters Centre offers comprehensive counselling to ensure your child receives the support they need. Through teen counselling services and child group therapy, we can provide both preventative care and therapy for any issues or challenges children may be facing in their home or school environment.

Through our co-parenting counselling and family therapy sessions, we strive to provide a space where families can come together to learn new tools and deepen their understanding of each other’s situations.

If you’re looking for a child therapist or parenting therapist in the Burlington, Hamilton, or Oakville area, call us today at (905) 466-8023 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.


December 15, 2022by Shari Markovich

It’s no secret that parenting a teenager can be difficult. Teenagers are going through so many changes—physically, emotionally and mentally—and it can be hard for parents to know how to talk to them and connect with them. This can lead to frustration for both the parent and the teen. If you’re struggling with parent-teenager communication, or if you just want to learn how to communicate better, read on for some tips!

Be an Active Listener

Active listening includes actively paying attention when your teen speaks and engaging in conversation without judgment or criticism. The key to communication with youth is to make sure you are actively listening by putting away any distractions like your phone, stopping what you’re doing, and focusing on what your teen is saying. Active listening also involves not just hearing but understanding what your teen is saying and responding with encouragement, compassion and support.

Avoid Loading Them with Questions

Many parents want to know what their children are thinking but bombarding them with a flurry of questions can push them away. Instead of overwhelming your teen with a ton of questions, try open-ended conversations. Ask your teenager questions about themselves that allow for longer answers and explore the boundaries of what they are willing to discuss. Also keep in mind that one-on-one conversations as opposed to talking when others are around can lower tensions and help you both stay on topic without distractions or fear of embarrassment.

Speak on Interesting Topics

One way to improve parent-teenager communication is by choosing interesting topics to talk about that your teenager will find engaging. Doing research on movies, music, and other interesting aspects of their world that they enjoy can be a great way to start conversations. Ask any parenting therapist and they will tell you that developing a trusting relationship with your teenager is all about getting out of your comfort zone and being willing to talk about their passions, dreams for the future, or even their everyday choices.

Don’t Jump to Conclusions

To ensure that you’re better able to understand one another and build a relationship, it’s important not to jump to conclusions. Listen to what your teen is saying, instead of jumping in with a pre-conceived assumption about the bottom line. Try to withhold judgment until all the facts are laid out in front of you—this will give both you and your teenager an opportunity to reach mutual understanding.

Praise Your Teenager

Lastly, a great way to enhance your parent-teenager communication is by praising your child whenever possible. Praise works wonders to boost their self-esteem and remind them that they are appreciated and valued. Be sure to be genuine though! If you come off as insincere or like you’re trying too hard, your teen can see right through it. An easy way to start this is by reminding them of things that they’ve done well or said that made an impression on you.

Contact Family Matters Centre for Teen Counselling Services

Communication is an essential part of parent-teenager communication. At Family Matters Centre, we offer teen counselling services in Burlington that can help improve communication with youth. By providing a safe and supportive space, teenagers can express their frustrations which will enable them to build skills like reflecting on their behaviour, establishing personal boundaries, becoming more aware of the consequences of making decisions and communicating better with their family.

If you’re looking for a therapist for teens or a parenting therapist in the Burlington, Hamilton, or Oakville area, call us today at (905) 466-8023 or fill out our contact form to request an appointment.