Home Coping Parents of Children/Teens with Misophonia Should Be Involved in Coping Skills Management

Parents of Children/Teens with Misophonia Should Be Involved in Coping Skills Management

by Shaylynn Hayes-Raymond
man carrying to girls on field of red petaled flower

I will start this article by saying that I am not here to parent blame. I understand that parents are busy, and that information on how to cope with misophonia or help their child is confusing at best. I understand why a parent would want to go to an expert (using this word as their opinion, not mine), to help their child with misophonia. The disorder is confusing at best, and absolutely unimaginable at worst.

However, I have noticed a trend as a therapist where parents of teenagers with misophonia seem unable to engage in the process of learning how to cope with Misophonia. Bowenian Family Systems Theory tells us that if one family member makes a change, then the entire family unit makes a change. This is even more important when we consider the power and role parents hold in the family unit. I will say, this is not true of all parents, but for those that it is true of, I want to let you know that you do have a great deal of power over misophonia, even if it feels like a hopeless condition. As you and your child learn together, you can come up with ways to integrate coping skills into your everyday lives in meaningful ways.

In the case of misophonia, knowledge is power. Without understanding how the disorder operates (or at least what we know of it currently), there is less chance of understanding the condition. There is also conflicting information all over the web, and particularly insidious information where some ‘clinicians’ will tell you it’s a behavioural issue and to stop ‘coddling’ your child or teen. This, in my opinion, is absolute non-sense.

While none of the current coping skills that exist or have been proposed are treatments that can alleviate misophonia entirely, many of these skills focus on dealing with the environment, cognitive effects of misophonia, accommodations, and on sensory-integration strategies. Many of these theories involve co-regulation, which at its foundation requires the parent to be part of the process of coping skills.

Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout says the following about co-regulation in her Parent’s Guide to Misophonia:

Co-regulation does not necessarily mean picking up your 9-year-old child and swaddling him or her. Instead, think of co-regulation as being your child’s partner in their journey toward self-regulation. You can co-regulate by making suggestions in terms of what might help, reminding your child of strategies, and including yourself in an activity, which may at times be the best solution. A hug is also a form of co-regulation. Children will eventually learn to regulate on their own.”

I highly recommend Dr. Jennifer Jo Brout’s book for parents, especially if you have younger children with misophonia.

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