Depending on your child's age, ability and why they are attending, you may find some of the following phrases helpful to reassure your child:
"This is a fun place - (Hailey/Danielle/Rachel) will invite them to play games, do art, be active outside, or pat the pets".
"That they can chat about anything they like".
"(Hailey/Danielle/Rachel) helps kids with their feelings about things" / "gives them ideas about what to do when they get big feelings"
"They can bring something to show if they choose" (some children like to bring a game, photos, sport or school certificates etc this helps them to feel in control and more confident about coming).
"(Hailey/Danielle/Rachel's) job is similar to (name of a school counsellor or guidance officer if they have seen one before) This is often helpful for kids if they have had a positive experience.
MOST IMPORTANTLY PLEASE EMPHASISE THAT MY ROLE IS A HELPING ROLE. THEY ARE NOT COMING BECAUSE THEY ARE IN TROUBLE.
In my experience, children often want the help.. they don't like having difficulty making and keeping friends or feeling overwhelmed.
If your child is feeling particularly anxious about attending we can make special arrangements including a 'face-time' call prior to the appointment to assist.
The first appointment is used to gain an understanding of the child's background, developmental history, and current concerns or goals. Where possible it is preferred to have a parent attend without the child. This provides the opportunity to speak openly, without little ears listening. However, I do understand that this is not always possible and we have plenty of ways to keep them occupied if they need to come along.
At the NASA Space Science Center, there's a bumblebee poster that says:
"The aerodynamic body of a bumblebee is not suitable for flying, but it's a good thing the bumblebee doesn't know it".
The law of physics, the aerodynamic principle says that the width of the wings is too small to hold its huge body in flight, but the bee doesn't know, doesn't know about physics or its logic, and still flies.
This is something we can all do, fly and win anytime before any difficulties and under any circumstances despite what they say. Bumblebees, regardless of the size of their wings.....fly and enjoy life.
- David Attenborough