Do you love working with children? You may want to consider becoming a child psychologist. A child psychologist is a specialty psychologist who checks the social, emotional and mental development of children. Child psychologists generally monitor progress from prenatal period to the teenage years.
Child psychologists help out with different patients like toddlers, infants, children and teenagers. Or they may work with a set of age group. Regardless of the child’s age group that they are working with, child psychologists aim to avoid, recognize and cure emotional, social, development and intellectual problems in children.
Do you want to know what it takes to become a child psychologist? Here are some qualities that you should possess to become one.
1. Be Enthusiastic
It is a basic expectation from a child psychologist to have a genuine enthusiasm and truly care for the needs of the child. Child psychologists who have high energy, fun loving and with a friendly personality are more likely to effortlessly build rapport with children and relate to them.
A warm and caring psychologist would easily be able to help children enjoy the therapy and reach out to them and be open to communication. A child that is more open and responsive allows counseling progress to happen sooner.
2. Be trustworthy
Child psychologists must have the essential ability to gain the trust of both the parent and child. This would make therapy easier and more comfortable with everyone. The parents are required to divulge personal and delicate information to the child psychologists during sessions and the therapist is expected to keep the information confidential and private at all times .
The therapist must consistently attend to the needs of the child and in turn the child will begin to trust the therapist. A child who establishes trust with the therapist begins to feel safe and secure on each counseling session.
3. Be good with communication
A child psychologist must be able to affiliate well with a wide range of people that can help with the child. He or she must be able to relate to the children and speak at their degree of understanding. Aside from communicating with the child, they should also be good with communicating with the parents in a way that will help them understand and help the situation.
In like manner, the child psychologist will have to coordinate with the pediatrician and the child’s teachers in order to fully explore all alternatives to assist the child. Making communication direct and clear is necessary to make the therapy a success and child psychologists should be an expert on this.
4. Be patient
Working with children will really test your patience. Children may not easily cooperate or sometimes will force you to do things their own way. They will throw fits and tantrums to get what they want. They would use all possible ways to convince you to obey them.
Exerting extreme patience is something a child psychologist will have to do every day when working with children. Being patient and showing a pleasant attitude in a firm and assertive way will win the respect and obedience of the child.
5. Be knowledgeable
A child psychologist needs to have the competence to handle specific concerns a child may encounter. Any concern should be dealt in an effective and caring manner. One example would be a child with dyslexia; the child psychologist would have to come up with ways on how the child can learn more effectively even with this learning disability.
Job Outlook for Child Psychologists
Job opportunities for child psychologist are expected to rise as fast as the average rate until 2018 according to Occupational Outlook Handbook, a material published by the US Department of Labor.
The average salary for child psychologists is $65,000 annually. The salary can range from as low as $37,800 to as high as $160,000 yearly.
Being a child psychologist is a very rewarding job because you are helping children become better and well adjusted. It is also quite demanding emotionally as you would have to face children’s emotions like fear, anxiety, etc. But the rewards are definitely far better than the hardships of this job.
So do you have what it takes to become a child psychologist?