As a school counselor, you have the opportunity to have a profound and positive impact on children. Even though we often think of children as being innocent and carefree, the reality is that life offers many obstacles, and even the youngest among us are affected by the ups and downs of life. However, young children don’t have the same coping mechanisms that adults have, so a good school counselor can become instrumental in helping them navigate some of the disappointments and heartbreak that can come in life.
Before you begin your career in counseling, though, it is important to make sure you understand the unique challenges associated with counseling young children. The good news is that there is plenty of help available to you. You can get help from the Internet, in the form of informative web sites that offer counseling ideas, tips and advice. If you are hoping to be of use to young children, here are 30 Q&A sites that can help you better understand how to help your smallest clients:
General Topics for Counseling Young Children
These Q&A web sites deal with a number of different topics that might affect children. They also include helpful general hints for counseling young children, and techniques that can help you be more effective.
- Student Intervention: A great resource for learning about how to tackle problems with young children, from identifying at-risk children to helping them overcome problems.
- Teachable Moment: Learn how you can grasp teachable moments and better connect to children.
- School Counselor: A great Q&A site with resources, and helpful hints for counseling and educating children, including young children.
- Concern: Visit this site for helpful information on counseling young children, as well as learning about foster care for children.
- Stop Bullying: A great Q&A resource for those who are trying to help stop bullying. A great resource for counselors and others.
- Advocates for Youth: A helpful place to start for counselors who are working with GLBTQ children, or those who are struggling with related issues.
- Child Counseling Techniques: This brief overview answers questions about different child counseling techniques, and how they can be used.
- Types of Counseling Techniques: Use this handy resource to answer questions about which techniques are appropriate for different age groups.
Grief Counseling for Young Children
Children deal with loss in ways that are different from the way adults do. Whether it’s the loss of a pet, or a parent, it is possible that a young child needs the help of a good counselor. Here are some great web sites that can help you out.
- KIDSAID: This is a safe place for kids to grieve — and help each other through the loss. However, it also provides a great Q&A that can be of use to counselors.
- Grief Recovery: Learn more about how to help those coping with loss, including young children.
- Amanda the Panda: Resources, tips, and answers to questions related to helping children grieve and overcome loss.
- Counseling for Loss: Learn more about grief, counseling, and how to help young children through a tough loss.
- The Healing Place: Q&A on helping children who are grief-stricken. A great resource for counselors who want to help with loss.
- The Dougy Center: Provides answers to questions about helping children make it through loss, as well as valuable resources.
- Helping Children Cope with Loss, Death and Grief: A helpful resource that can answer your questions about counseling techniques to assist children.
- Grief Counseling: A straightforward look at helping children with grief. Provides helpful answers to commonly asked questions.
Guidance Counseling for Young Children
Sometimes children need a little help determining what’s next. You can use the following web sites to help you learn how to properly guide children in a way that keeps them safe while providing them with better opportunities to succeed.
- Counseling 4 Kids: Learn how to help children, and get them beyond some of the issues that might hold them back.
- Family Guidance Center: Access resources, tips, techniques and other helpful information and answers.
- The Common Problems School Guidance Counselors Come Across: This helpful resource answers questions about problems you might run into as a guidance counselor.
- Sample K-12 School Counseling Lesson Plans: New Jersey Schools offers some great samples of lesson plans for guidance counselors. Learn to effectively counsel children.
- Counseling Community: Guidance counselors working with young children can have their questions answered, and learn valuable techniques.
- Character First: Learn how you, as a guidance counselor, can help children develop good character. Helpful Q&A for counseling with children of all ages.
- National Center for Youth Issues: Answers to questions, practical resources, and helpful hints.
- A World of Prevention: Q&A, resources and more about helping young children and families.
Web Sites of Professional Counseling Organizations
One of the best things you can do is to join some sort of professional counseling organization. Many of these organizations include helpful Q&A sections that can help you find out more about counseling different clients, and keep you on top of the best techniques.
- American School Counselor Association: Visit this web site for information that can help you be a better school counselor, and provide insight into helping young children.
- American Counseling Association: Offers information on all types of counseling. Includes resources on counseling young children, and helpful hints for improving your performance as a school counselor.
- Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development: A great resource for counselors looking to help students in a multicultural setting. Plenty of great resources, and information about counseling children.
- American Educational Research Association: Helpful and informative resources related to research. Includes Q&A, and great resources for school counselors looking to better help young children obtain an education.
- American Mental Health Counselors Association: Great for answering questions about mental health. Includes information and resources for helping young children improve their mental health.
- American Association of Christian Counselors: You can get access to helpful resources, and have your questions about helping young children answered on this site. A great place to start if you are interested in counseling young children from a Christian perspective.